Annibale Carracci
The Burial of Christ

1595
Oil on copper, 17¼ x 13¾ in. (43.8 x 34.9 cm.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Gift, 1998.188

Carracci abandons the traditional iconography and applies the gospel accounts to his typically early-Baroque style. He pictures the men carrying the pallid body into the tomb and toward an offstage location. As in the gospels Joseph of Arimathea directs the work and Mary Magdalene observes disconsolately. (Joseph is identified by the turban, the Magdalene by her long, blond hair and red mantle.) In an effect reminiscent of Nativity scenes after Bridget of Sweden, it is Christ's body that illuminates the figures and far outshines the little flame on the candle.

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Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York