The Entombment

The Entombment

The Entombment by Michelangelo

The Entombment by Michelangelo was produced in 1501 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Renaissance Art movement. The work can be viewed now at National Gallery, London


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): death, spirituality


The Entombment is a painting produced between 1500 and 1501 by Italian artist Michelangelo.

The Entombment is an unfinished painting by Michelangelo of the placing of the body of Jesus in the garden tomb.

Apart from Jesus, there is some disagreement over the identity of the various other figures represented in the painting ‘The Entombment’. Michelangelo shows Christ’s body being carried to his tomb but the identity of the two figures on the right is uncertain. The center of the painting portrays Christ being carried up to the sepulcher. The area of the sepulcher is empty and researchers think it was intended to be painted in the blank area at the top right of the work. The older man with beard behind him is probably Joseph of Arimathea, who gave up his tomb for use as Christ’s sepulcher. The man wearing a long orange-red gown and a long-haired figure on the left is probably Saint John with one of the Mary’s probably Mary Magdalene kneeling at his feet.

The two unidentified figures in the paintings range from Nicodemus to one of the Mary’s while the figure on the far right is a Holy woman maybe Mary Salome. The large unfinished area at the bottom right in the painting was intended to be used for Virgin Mary in kneeling form. The painting was intended to be viewed from below and thus this explained the floating appearance of some of the figures.

There were many unfinished parts in the painting The Entombment such as the cloak of the missing Virgin. The painting was in short supply and it would have required quantities of the expensive lapis lazuli blue and it could be the reason as to why this was held up for completion which explains the fact as to why it was unfinished. However, even if this was the reason behind the unfinished painting, it would not explain why the artist not completed many other parts of the painting The Entombment that did not require any expensive lapis lazuli blue.


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