Anonymous: The embalming of the Body of Christ (1410-1420)

(Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The depiction of the embalming of the body of Christ in art is very rare and this triptych is one of the few pieces which deals with this. In the center panel we can see Mary embracing the body of Christ. John the Apostle supports Mary while the three other Marys (Mary Magdalene, Mary of Cleopas and Mary Salome) mourn. The men in the foreground are busy with the embalming of Christ - notice the jars and equipemnt. On the left panel we can see a depiction of Saint Anthony of Egypt, on the right panel there is a depiction of John the baptist. These saints are sometimes used as patronsaints for hospitals so it is possible that this triptych was commissioned by a hospital. This painting is from 1410-1420.