Art that comforts

“A Word that Goes Beyond Death”

"To proclaim Christ means demonstrating that believing in Him and following Him is not only something right and just, but also beautiful. The Heart of the Gospel is the beauty of God’s salvific love manifested in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.” Inspired by these words of Pope Francis, the collaboration between the Vatican Museums and Vatican News continues as we present various masterpieces from the Pontifical collection accompanied by the words of the Popes.

Antonio Canova, Lamentation over the Dead Christ, Plaster, ca 1820 © Musei Vaticani

This model is one of the trials or studies Antonio Canova created during the last years of his life in view of a huge marble monument that was never produced.

The artist’s vision is splendidly revealed in the apparent simplicity of the pyramidal arrangement of the figures, with the Virgin seated with the body of Christ resting against her, His head reclining on her knees, His limbs gracefully gliding to the ground. To the side, the kneeling figure of the Magdalene poignantly and devoutly touches the Saviour’s shoulder.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“Death, solitude and fear do not have the last word. There is a word that transcends them, a word only God can speak: it is the word of the Resurrection. By the power of God’s love, it “dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord and brings down the mighty.””

(Pope Francis – Urbi et Orbi – 1 April 2018)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza


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24 March 2023, 11:23