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Art that comforts
Vatican News

Vatican Museums: The Works of Mercy #5

"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.

Pietro Lorenzetti, c.1280 – 1348, Jesus before Pilate, Part of a diptych (?), c.1335, Tempera and gilding on poplar, Vatican Art Gallery © Musei Vaticani

Pietro Lorenzetti (Siena c.1280 - 1348), in this portion of a diptych depicting Christ standing before Pilate, offers a simplistic composition, which serves to heighten the drama. The scene’s protagonists are diminished in size and placed in opposition to one another in a realistic, prospective space. Christ, who wears a red tunic and a blue mantle and whose hands are bound, is at the center of the scene. He stands before Pilate, who is seated on a raised throne, and dressed in sumptuous robes with his head crowned with bay leaves. Their eyes are joined in a silent dialogue of great intensity, so much so that the devotee remains confused by the injustice and ignoble condemnation of the innocent Christ.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“With the docile submission which belongs to one who believes in a just and good God, and in Jesus Christ—teacher and guide of hearts—courageously embrace your often-heavy, daily cross. Carrying its weight with Jesus makes it light.”

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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16 March 2021, 09:00