Allegretto Nuzi, “Dead Christ – Vir dolorum”, diptych panel, ca. 1365, tempera and gilding on poplar, Vatican Art Gallery © Musei Vaticani
This painting—the Vir dolorum, literally, “Man of pains”—presents the torment of the Passion and death of Christ as almost crystalized. This close-up of Jesus shows Him from the waist up laying down, without clothing, with His arms crossed on His chest, eyes closed, and head tilted in the sleep of death. This painting by Allegretto Nuzi presents one precious example of this type of iconography, in the right-hand panel of a diptych (the other is the Madonna with the Christ Child). The pair give witness to a particular devotion to the moment of the Divine Incarnation and the sufferings which Christ endured until death.
(Pope Benedict XVI – Way of the Cross at the Colosseum – 6 April 2012)
Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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