Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

The Raising of Lazarus

oil on canvas (380 × 275 cm) — c. 1609 Museum Museo Regionale, Messina

Caravaggio biography

This work is linked to John 11:43

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Lazarus was a friend of Jesus and the brother of Martha and Mary. He fell ill, died, and was buried.

Four days later, Jesus meets the weeping sisters. He is vexed with their lamenting and with bystanders discussing if he and his god can raise the dead like they can cure the blind. To proof that true faith can move mountains, Jesus goes to the grave and calls "Come forth!”

Hearing about this new miracle, the chief priests decide it is time to take action against Jesus. He is becoming increasingly popular and a threat to their position.

The pointing figure strongly resembles Jesus in The Calling of Matthew. The scene does not fully correspond with the text in the gospel; Martha had warned Jesus that "by this time he stinketh", but nobody seems to notice that.

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