17 April 2017

RESURRECTION



This broadside of the Resurrection measures 7" × 10". It is based on one of my ink drawings on paper. A scan of my drawing, slightly enlarged and modified, was used to create the plate for letterpress printing.

Christ steps from the open tomb with His right foot and raises His right hand in blessing; the right hand of Christ, in medieval art, represents divine mercy. As in most medieval depictions of the Resurrection, two chronologically distinct events (Christ’s rising from the tomb and the stone’s removal) are shown together; this was done to emphasize the stone’s signification of the Old Testament. Two angels assist in removing the stone, and another swings a thurible. Two soldiers sleep in the foreground.

I formatted the picture like a recto book leaf. The words RESURRECTIO DOMINI and ALLELUIA appear in the border, as do several ornamental plants and four animals that are traditional symbols of the Resurrection. According to the medieval bestiaries, the phoenix rises from its own ashes, the pelican revives its dead chicks by feeding them blood from a self-inflicted wound and the lion revives its dead cubs with its breath. The whale is from the story of Jonah, which was named as a prefigurement of the Resurrection by Christ Himself: For as Jonah was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

In the bas-de-page I drew an emblem of the Harrowing of Hell. Christ descends to the Limbo of the Pariarchs bearing His triumphal banner; He subdues Satan and assists Adam and Eve out of the Hellmouth.

Read more here.

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