Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Crucifixion of Christ

Title: Crucifixion of Christ

Artist: Unknown

Medium: Illuminated manuscript

Size: 33.6 x 22.6 cm

Date: 586

Location: Laurentian Library, Florence.

Mark 15:36 One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

Elijah was a prophet in the northern kingdom of the divided monarchy during the reigns of Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram (873 BC – 843 BC). Members of some circles of Jewish tradition had come to believe that Elijah was sent like an angel to rescue famous teachers. Malachi 4:5 identifies the messenger of the last days with Elijah; taken up to heaven he shall return before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.

This illustration is one of several from the Rabbula Gospels, a 6th century illuminated Syriac Gospel Book. One of the finest Byzantine works produced in Asia, it is distinguished by the miniaturist's predilection for bright colors, movement, drama, and expressionism. The Gospel was completed in the monastery of ‘Beth Mar John’ at ‘Beth Zagba’, in what is now northern Syria. The miniatures of the Rabbula Gospels, notably those representing the Crucifixion, the Ascension and Pentecost, are surrounded with a decorative frame formed of zigzags, curves, rainbows and so forth. This scene of the Crucifixion is the earliest to survive in an illuminated manuscript, and shows the Eastern form of the image at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment