The Anastasis

Church of San Giorgio dei Greci, Venice

This Anastasis has Christ in a mandorla. He stands on the broken gates of Hell with the chasm below, taking Adam's wrist with one hand and holding a scroll with the other. Eve is by Adam's side. At her back is St. John the Baptist, identifiable by his halo and his pointing to Christ. Behind him on the right, several Old Testament prophets are ready to emerge from a dark cave representing Hades. Several specific prophets speak about their prophecies of this event in the Gospel of Nicodemus.

The men on the left are not in that cave, so they are most likely the three persons who were taken up to Heaven even before the Resurrection: Enoch, Elijah, and the Good Thief. These three all tell their stories in the Anastasis section of the Gospel of Nicodemus.1 Enoch and Elijah also appear, similarly dressed and separate from the group leaving Hades, in this diptych.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

1 Gospel of Nicodemus, XXV-XXVI (Schneemelcher 525-26).