Description: Entombment

This very large painting was created as an altarpiece, a work of art displayed behind the altar at the front of a church or in a side chapel. In this highly emotional religious painting, a group of grieving men and women carry the limp, dead body of Jesus to burial, to be place inside his tomb. At lower left, the lid of a stone coffin, or sarcophagus, has been moved aside to accommodate the body. The scene appears to take place in a very shallow space, with the figures placed close to the front in order to heighten the viewer’s sense of being a part of the action. Known as the Entombment, or burial, the episode is a key element of the Christian story and became a popular subject for Christian religious art.

  • Artist: Luca Giordano, Italian, 1634—1705
  • Created: 1650—1653
  • Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund, Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman Fund, Gallery Purchase Fund, gift of Whitney F. Hoyt, by exchange, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hollister Spencer, by exchange,  2005.34