The Entombment

Object Details

Title:

The Entombment

Artist/Maker(s):

Masters of Dirc van Delf (Dutch, active about 1400 - about 1410)

Culture:

Dutch

Place(s):

Utrecht (probably), Netherlands (Place created)

Date:

about 1405 - 1410

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 16.5 x 11.7 cm (6 1/2 x 4 5/8 in.)

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In this miniature of the Entombment, the Virgin, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, their eyes expressing sadness, gently lay Jesus' body into the tomb. The Virgin contemplates her son's face and the meaning of his death, on which the viewer is also called to meditate. The figures' broad forms extend beyond the confines of the painted frame, blurring the distinction between the miniature's and the viewer's space. The viewer is thus invited into the scene, especially by the figure on the right, who turns in toward Jesus in a position analogous to that of the observer.

While the artist created naturalistic, three-dimensional figures and a seemingly weighty sculpted sarcophagus, he still placed them before a traditional flat pattern of small, colored squares or diamonds, an abstract design called a diapered ground.

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Exhibitions
The Medieval Best Seller: Illuminated Books of Hours (October 29, 2002 to January 19, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 29, 2002 to January 19, 2003
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 29 to September 5, 2004
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011