Wednesday, March 28, 2007

El Greco: The Resurrection

GRECO, El (b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)
The Resurrection 1596-1600
Oil on canvas, 275 x 127 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Only one other painting of the subject by El Greco is known, that for Santo Domingo el Antiguo.

The nude figure of Christ, wearing a splendid crimson cloak and holding a white flag, rises effortless in an incandescent light. The soldiers below, arranged in a semicircle, raise their arms and contort their bodies, in great confusion and amazement. The foreshortened figures of two other guardians have been knocked down and a third one, wearing a helmet, dozes completely devoid of the magnitude of the wonder.

The canvas, ending in a semicircular arch is signed close to the foot of the soldier in the right end

Dramatic lighting, swirling and attenuated figures well suited to convey in powerful terms the supernatural, triumphant dimensions of the divine event called The Resurrection.

The Resurrection was more than just the return of a man from the dead. It was a victory over Death itself.