The Women at the Tomb

Object Details

Title:

The Women at the Tomb

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Byzantine

Place:

Nicomedia (or) Turkey Nicaea Turkey (Place created)

Date:

early 13th century - late 13th century

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 20.6 × 14.9 cm (8 1/8 × 5 7/8 in.)

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According to the Gospels, Christ rose from his tomb on the third day after his death. This image shows the moment when holy women--who had come to Christ's grave to anoint his body in keeping with funeral rites--are greeted by a magnificent angel who points to the tomb, telling them that Christ is no longer there. For the medieval viewer, Christ's missing body was a sign of his triumph over death. Here, rather than simply depicting an empty tomb, the artist articulated the shocking absence of a body through a gap in the shroud between the head and neck area, graphically demonstrating the emptiness within.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Imagining Christ (May 6 to July 27, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 6 to July 27, 2008