Friday, March 29, 2013

“Il Transporto di Cristo al Sepolcro” - Antonio Ciseri (1870)

“The Transport of Christ to the Sepulcher" by Antonio Ciseri is one of the most harrowing of all the paintings concerning Good Friday. It was painted over a period of 6 years, between 1864 and 1870 in Italy. Ciseri was actually born in Switzerland, but by age 12 he was studying under the tutelage of Ernesto Bonaivuti and later, Giuseppe Bezzuoli, both of whom would inform his works with their own unique styles.

In this dark and foreboding painting Christ is being carried by the Faithful to the Sepulcher, from which he would miraculously rise on what became known as Easter Sunday. The imagery is not the standard one of Christ borne on the cross; or even hung upon one. Rather, the artists intent seems to have been geared more towards humanizing Jesus as body and flesh; as someone who was once touched by others, just as he once touched them.

No matter what your religious beliefs; I happen to be Jewish; the solemnity of Good Friday, encompassing Faith within its sorrow, cannot be ignored. Without Faith, there can be no good deeds, and without good deeds there can never be Salvation. This holds true not only for Christians, but for people of any Faith who believe in something higher than just themselves.

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