Andrea Mantegna: The lamentation over the dead Christ (1475-1501)

(Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy)

The Italian artist Andrea Mantegna is one of the great masters of the Italian Renaissance. He experimented a lot with perspective in his work. This painting is one of his most famous works and an excellent example of his perspective-experimentation. On the painting we can see the dead body of Christ. The Virgin Mary , Saint John the Apostle and Mary Magdalene are weeping for his death. Mantegna had to adjust the length of Christ's chest, legs and feet to create perspective (called foreshortening). This creates a somewhat experimental view of Christ - the feet of Christ are trusted out towards us as if they more important than the face of Christ. We can also clearly see the dry wounds of the hands and feet. The painting was found in the studio of Mantegna after his death so perhaps it was for personal use. Rembrandt also used this perspective in his (damaged) painting "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman". Painting from around 1475-1501.

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