Monday, April 3, 2017

Looking at the detail

One of my favourite works of art, Mantegna’s extraordinary ‘Lamentation Over The Dead Christ’, is nearly too familiar. It would be easy to pan across the image and see much less than is there. Break it down to its detail and its brilliance is seen afresh.

It brings to mind the words of doubting Thomas “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Look at the torn flesh in the feet, the open gashes in the back of the hands; you could put your finger into them.

And when the resurrected Jesus appears to the apostles and says to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe”, he readily replies “My Lord and my God!”

This painting carries, magnificently, that strength to convince. 

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