The Entombment of Christ
The Entombment of Christ: Sacrifice Signified
“French Entombments not planned for private chapels were often intended for hospital or cemetery chapels, where they became poignant, empathetic images of Christ’s humanity in death” (Medieval Sculpture at the Cloisters, 1988-1989). This quote captures the true essence and power behind one of the most moving works of art at the Metropolitan Art Museum. This particular version of The Entombment of Christ is of French culture and made out of limestone and polychrony. Dated back to A.D. 1515 during the Medieval Art period and made in Bourbonnais, this combination of sculpture and stone artwork was a gift to the museum from U. Pierpont Morgan in 1916. While The Entombment of Christ is a representation of religious and spiritual views, it also showcases passionate and dramatic portrayals of the greatest sacrifice ever made by Christ.
During my trip to the Metropolitan Art Museum I decided to focus on A.D. 1400-1600 Medieval Art and eventually decided upon The Entombment of Christ. Located in MET gallery 306 the large limestone sculpture stands out immediately. The recess measures 96 x 104 x 32 inches while the overall measurements along with the frame measures a massive 183 x 145 x 32 inches. The beautiful stonework although dated still has great detail and texture, exemplified by the azurite lead paint that although clearly faded, still shows signs of red and orange shades.
Taking a closer look at the intricate details you begin to realize the detail and time that was put into this portion of The Entombment. The scene on the front shows Christ lying on a shroud about to be lowered into a tomb by Joseph Arithmea with Nicodemus, Saint John, three Mary’s, and five grieving angels looking on sadly. As Saint John holds the crown of thrones the Virgin Mary stands in the center of the three Mary’s and cannot even look at the scene. Fluttering above the sad scene are five grieving...