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The Raising of Lazarus

Central Russia

1890 no. 9314
Room 2
Tempera on wood
13,9x11,2 cm
1890 n. 9314

In line with a highly typical iconographic design within Byzantine and Russian traditions, Jesus Christ, depicted in the act of blessing and followed by the apostles John and Peter, performs the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, a story recounted in the Gospel of John. Lazarus, depicted on the right side of the composition at a cave entrance, is wrapped in bandages, summarily represented by the lattice of intersecting orange-coloured diagonal lines. Mary, sister of Lazarus, bows at Jesus' feet, kneeling on a slab of the demolished tomb. The icon's compact size likely resulted in the need to simplify the composition, which lacks Martha, Lazarus' other sister.

Stylistically, the work sits within a group of icons in the Uffizi collection dated to the second half of the 18th century characterised by an almost monochromatic colouring, played out in shades of brown, red, black and gold, and a markedly formal simplification in realising the figures.

Text by
Daniela Parenti
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