Giotto di Bondone, The Arena Chapel Frescos: The Raising of Lazarus

Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

The image follows John 11:1-44 with the traditional fidelity to the text, and the usual artistic exceptions. Martha and Mary fall to their feet before Jesus. (In John, only Mary does.) Jesus' words to Lazarus are expressed in the blessing gesture he makes in the picture. As in the text but unlike the earliest Lazarus images, he is taken forth from a cave, not a built structure. The stone covering the cave mouth has been taken away by members of the crowd. Lazarus is wrapped as always in his grave cloths, and as always in the images (but not in the text) his face is visible.

The one detail from the text that Giotto includes but is not included in other Lazarus images is the visualization of Martha's objection to the opening of the tomb: "Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he is now of four days."

This panel is the fourth (reading from the left) in the middle register of the north wall of the chapel.

Read more about Saint Lazarus.

Source: Wikimedia Commons