Deposición de Cristo/ Piedad con Jose de Arimatea y Nicodemo

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  • Deposición de Cristo/ Piedad con Jose de Arimatea y Nicodemo
  • Deposition of Christ / Pieta with Jose of Arimathea and Nicodemus
  • The Deposition of Christ, or the Descent from the Cross, is the scene depicted in art from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the Cross after His Crucifixion and laying His Corpse into the loving arms of His Mother Mary (John 19:38-42).
  • The Descent from the Cross is the 13th Station of the Cross.
  • Late 19th Century Original Retablo Oil Painting on Tin created in Mexico.
  • Retablo dimensions are approx. 10 inches horizontal x 14 inches vertical.
  • Condition: in fair, original condition with some paint loss acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer. 
  • A rare folk retablo painting, oil on heavy gauge tin, depicting Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus who were present at the crucifixion, took part in the deposition (Jesus' descent from the cross) and the entombment of Christ.
  • Joseph of Arimathaea was a wealthy and respected member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish legislative council in Jerusalem, and a secret disciple who obtained permission from Pilate, the Roman governor, to take the body of Christ from the cross. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin who came to Christ by night to receive instruction. Together they would respectfully lay Christ to rest.
  • Joseph brought a linen sheet and Nicodemus contributed myrrh and aloes to preserve the body. They took Christ's body down and swathed it with the spices enveloped in strips of cloth. In this retablo one is depicted holding the ladder and pincers, the other nails removed from the body and a hammer. Usually the pair can be distinguished by their dress, with Joseph more elegantly clad; however, in this retablo they appear to don very similar vestments. Nicodemus is the one believed to have removed the nails from Christ's feet. So perhaps the figure on the right is Nicodemus, and John is depicted on the left.
  • Note from Brian: Although the face of the Virgin and Christ are quite serene and beautiful, the posturing of the Body of Christ and His grievous wounds still have the power to convey the horror of the moment and the overwhelming sadness of the Virgin Mary. This is a rare and somber subject that I have always found highly emotional and very touching. The extensive wear and use obvious on this piece attracted me as an artifact.