Caravaggio - Resurrection of Lazarus 1608-1609

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Caravaggio - Resurrection of Lazarus 1608-1609

Resurrection of Lazarus 1608-1609
380x275cm oil/canvas
Museo Regionale, Messina
The image is only being used for informational and educational purposes

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Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the patron saint of Giovanni Battista de' Lazzari, to whom Caravaggio was contracted to paint an altarpiece in the church of the Padri Crociferi. The Gospel of John tells how he fell sick, died, was buried and then miraculously raised from the dead by Christ. As in several paintings from this period of Caravaggio's career, the scene is set against blank walls that overwhelm the frieze of human actors. The interaction of the relief of figures caught in corporate effort and emotion, with a large void above, is quite different from the closely focussed individualised dramas of his early and middle periods. As is usual with Caravaggio, light becomes an important element in the drama, picking out crucial details such as Lazarus's hands—one lax and open to receive, the other reaching towards Christ—and the wonder-struck faces of the onlookers.