Art that comforts
Vatican News

Vatican Museums: The Works of Mercy #2

"Proclaiming Christ means showing that believing in Him and following Him is not only true and right, but also beautiful. At the heart of the Gospel lies the beauty of God's saving love, manifested in Jesus Christ who died and rose again." Inspired by these words of Pope Francis, the Vatican Museums and Vatican News have teamed up again to explore the masterpieces in the papal collections accompanied by the words of the Popes.

Allegretto Nuzi, “Dead Christ – Vir dolorum”, diptych panel, ca. 1365, tempera and gilding on poplar, Vatican Art Gallery © Musei Vaticani

This painting—the Vir dolorum, literally, “Man of pains”—presents the torment of the Passion and death of Christ as almost crystalized. This close-up of Jesus shows Him from the waist up laying down, without clothing, with His arms crossed on His chest, eyes closed, and head tilted in the sleep of death. This painting by Allegretto Nuzi presents one precious example of this type of iconography, in the right-hand panel of a diptych (the other is the Madonna with the Christ Child). The pair give witness to a particular devotion to the moment of the Divine Incarnation and the sufferings which Christ endured until death.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“The mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection inspires us to go on in hope: times of trouble and testing, when endured with Christ, with faith in Him, already contain the light of the resurrection, the new life of a world reborn, the Passover of all those who believe in His word.”

(Pope Benedict XVI  - Way of the Cross at the Colosseum – 6 April 2012)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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23 February 2021, 09:00