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  • Writer's pictureArthur Bruso

Lamentation at the Cloisters

I have been contemplating this “Lamentation” from the Cloisters. It is a highly emotional scene, if somewhat clumsy anatomically. Still there is a lovely, tender interaction between the figures.The figure of Mary Magdalene holding the dead Christ’s hand, has that exquisite serpentine line formed by the tilt of her head and her hand as she dabs at her tears. This was an object placed in a church that was designed to evoke feeling of the humanity of Christ between his intimate connections between his mother and those of his inner circle. In Mediterranean cultures, Christ was first a son to Mary and it was Mary as the mother who had to bear the tragedy of losing a son. This made the Lamentation and later the pieta very popular scenes in the Life of Christ below the Alps.

(detail) Mary Magdalene

Arthur Bruso © 2016

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