Andrea Mantegna: The Resurrection of Christ (1457-1459)


(Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, Tours, France)

A painting by the Italian master Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506). this painting used to be a part of the San Zeno Altarpiece, commissioned by Gregorio Correr, abbot of the Benedictine monastery of San Zeno in Verona. This painting was together with Agony in the Garden and the Crucifixion a part of the predella, the platform on which an altar stands. The three predellas were removed by the French in 1797 and ended up in the Louvre and in Tours. Today it is Easter Sunday, the day of the Resurrection of Christ. After his crucifixion, the body of Christ was taken from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea, wrapped it in linen cloth and laid it in a tomb. The Jews, knowing of Jesus' having predicted his resurrection, had placed a Jewish guard to guard the tomb of Jesus. On the Sunday a group of women myrrhbearers (including Mary Magdalene and others) came to the tomb to carry out their last devotions to Christ' body by anointing his body with spices and by pouring oils over it. Upon arriving they discovered that the stone which covered the entrance of the tomb was rolled-away. The tomb itself was empty and the body of Christ was gone. An angel ells the women that Christ has risen: "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again" (Luke 24:5-7). On the painting the Resurrection is set against a large rock with a cave in which the sarcophagus of Christ sits. In the center is the risen Christ, shown within a mandorla which is formed by cherubs. Painting from 1457-1459.

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