El Greco 1541 – 1614

The Resurrection

oil on canvas (275 × 127 cm) — 1597-1600 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

El Greco biography

This work is linked to Matthew 28:2

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Jesus is risen from his grave. The guards look on, taken by surprise. One of them, with the helmet on his head, is still asleep.

The white banner symbolizes the triumph over death. The purple cloak represents martyrdom and sacrifice.

Jesus' halo has a remarkable shape: it is a rhomboid, or parallelogram. Some say it is a Byzantine tradition that El Greco probably learned when he still painted icons on Crete.

The painting is part of an altarpiece for the church of the monastery Lady Mary of Aragon in Madrid. The altarpiece also included an Annunciation, Baptism, Crucifixion and Pentecost.

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