The Entombment
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Luca Penni
Italian, about 1550
Black chalk, pen and brown ink, and brown wash, with white gouache heightening
16 15/16 x 23 5/8 in.

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The bearded figure of Joseph of Arimathea carefully lifts Christ's cloth-wrapped body into a sepulcher-his own tomb, recently hewn into a recess in the rocks. Numerous weeping and gesturing figures surround the tomb. The gospel of Saint Matthew vividly describes this scene of Christ's entombment, and Luca Penni closely followed the biblical description.

Penni's distinctive style of drawing often accentuated outlines, particularly of facial features. Here he also drew over several faces to emphasize their outlines, such as the profile of the bearded man on the right and the woman with her arms raised. Delicate areas of white heightening form the delicate tufts of grass that hang over the edge of the cave and create highlights on the hair and clothing.