(Entombment) Drawing Jesus Off the Cross (Michelangelo)

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In the late 1520s, Michelangelo draws the heavy Jesus off the cross in a blur of orange chalk. Study for a Descent from the Cross (or Entombment) is now at the big Michelangelo show at the Met. In the drawings, as opposed to finished works of this sort, the bodies are to all effect faceless. The wall description puts the interpretive weight on arrested action and the limp, dead body. But it is the place of  “entombment” that sets the descending, darkened, and dank frame for Michelangelo’s other great theme for a corporeal Christian, art, indeed the greatest and most miraculous theme of all, namely bodily resurrection.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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