The Lamentation over the Dead Christ (c. 1490) by Andrea Mantegna

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ - Andrea Mantegna - 1475 - 1478

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Lamentation over the Dead Christ
ArtistAndrea Mantegna
Date1475 - 1478
MediumOil on Tempera on Canvas
Dimensions81 x 68 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationPalazzo Brera, Milan, Italy

About The Lamentation over the Dead Christ

The artwork titled “The Lamentation over the Dead Christ” is a masterpiece by the Italian artist Andrea Mantegna, created between the years 1475 and 1478. It is crafted using oil on tempera on canvas, signifying the technical art mediums prevalent during the Early Renaissance period. The painting is modest in dimension, measuring 81 by 68 centimeters. As a quintessential example of religious painting, the artwork exudes the spiritual and doctrinal themes of its era. It is currently housed in the Palazzo Brera in Milan, Italy.

“The Lamentation over the Dead Christ” presents a stark and intimate depiction of the lifeless body of Jesus after his crucifixion. The composition is notable for its dramatic foreshortening, bringing a bold perspective to the fore. Christ is laid out on a stone slab, his wounds prominently visible, evoking a sense of vivid realism and pathos. The artist’s meticulous attention to anatomical detail can be seen in the rendering of Christ’s muscles and the soles of his feet. Linen wraps His body, skilfully draped to highlight the limpness indicative of death. In the background, two mourners display expressions of grief, their faces contorted in agony. They give human context to the divine tragedy, forming a powerful emotional connection to the viewer. The use of chiaroscuro further accentuates the volume and form of the figures, a technique Mantegna mastered to create a profound depth of feeling. This artwork is revered not only for its devotional subject matter but also for its innovative use of perspective and emotion, marking it as a significant contribution to Early Renaissance art.

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