Series - Easter

The representation of Easter in the history of art.
Giotto, Mantegna, Vinci, but also, Derain, Dali or Chagall.

"L'Entrée de Jésus à Jérusalem", par Giotto, 1303. 
Phew! superb. Giotto's blues and greens are eternal, I find that they have a vibrancy that no fresco of the time reaches.

"The Resurrection of Christ" by di Tommaso da Foligno Bartolomeo (1408 - 1454), Ohlala how beautiful it is! This masterpiece is kept in the Louvre.

Johan Koerbecke, "Résurrection du Christ", 1456-1457.

This Resurrection of Christ is one of the eight painted panels of the Passion cycle that made up the altarpiece of the former high altar of the church of the Cistercian abbey of Marienfeld, near Münster in Westphalia. On either side of a statue of the Virgin and Child were two shutters painted on both sides. On the outside (closed altarpiece) was the cycle of the Passion of Christ, while on the inside (open altarpiece) was the cycle of the life of the Virgin.
Commissioned by Abbot Arnold von Bevern shortly before 1456, the altarpiece was installed in the church in 1457. It was moved at the end of the 17th century and sold in 1804. The Marienfeld altarpiece is considered the most important work of Johann Koerbecke, the most important Westphalian painter of the second half of the 15th century. Very few of his works have survived. The Calvet Museum in Avignon is the only one in France to have one.

Andrea Mantegna, "La Résurrection", 1459.

Easter is the oldest Christian festival and the central feast of the liturgical year. It celebrates the resurrection of Christ, his victory over death, which is the central element of the Christian faith. At the same time, it allows us to participate in his resurrection by celebrating our passage from death to life. This is the good news of the victory of life.
Easter is supposed to be a feast that is celebrated with communicative joy.
Without doubt one of the most sublime "Last Supper" in the history of art is the one by Leonardo da Vinci painted between 1494 and 1498 on the walls of the convent of Santa Maria degli Grazie in Milan. It shows, from left to right, Bartholomew, James the Lesser, Andrew, Judas, Peter, John, Jesus, Thomas, James the Greater, Philip, Matthew, Thaddeus and Simon.
Here Vinci seeks to renew the subject by giving much animation to the characters. What modernity, the table, the walls, the ceiling, it is disturbing!
The fresco decorates the refectory of the convent, it is very degraded because Leonardo did not use the traditional technique of realization of the frescos, but a personal technique which proved to be very sensitive to moisture.

Piero della Francesca, c. 1460, Easter is the oldest Christian festival and the central feast of the liturgical year. It celebrates the resurrection of Christ, his victory over death, which is the central element of the Christian faith. At the same time, it allows us to participate in his resurrection by celebrating our passage from death to life. This is the good news of the victory of life. 

 "The Last Supper," Jesus' meal on Thursday. An oil on wood by van Kampen Albert Jacobzoon Maler painted in the 16th century. Very strange this painting, with the twisted and almost cartoonish faces.

Hans Memling, "Ange tenant un rameau d'olivier", vers 1480.
The gesture seems uninterrupted, the movement continues. It is truly a beauty! And what serenity, look at this angel and everything seems to calm down

"L'incrédulité de saint Thomas" de Pierre-Paul Rubens, peint vers 1613.

Jesus returns from the dead and says to ten of the twelve apostles "Peace be with you" he has a wound in his side and sores in his palms. Jesus blesses them, gives them the Holy Spirit, gives them a mission, and leaves. Thomas, not being present, his ten friends tell him about the miracle. But Thomas refuses to believe: "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails, and put my hand in his side, I will not believe." A week after this first appearance, Jesus returns and accedes to Thomas' desire and says to him, "Put your finger here: these are my hands; put your hand forward and put it into my side, and be no longer unbelieving, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you see me, you believe. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Francesco Guardi, "La Procession du doge de Venise à San Zaccaria un jour de Pâques", 1775. 

On the afternoon of Easter Day, the doge went to the church of San Zaccaria, surrounded by ecclesiastical and civil authorities. He is preceded by dignitaries wearing the dogal crown. Guardi, Canaletto and Bellotto painters of the XVIIIᵉ century are the most significant representatives of Italian vedutism, that is, the art of painting urban views and not bucolic landscapes.

In Paul Gauguin's painting, "Le Christ jaune", painted in 1889 in Pont Aven, the Christ is stylized and the painting leaves a lot of room for the countryside. Yellow seems to unite Christ and nature.

"Matin de Pâques au grands arbres", 1928 par Maurice Denis.

Few modern artists have illustrated the Catholic religion, Maurice Denis devoted part of his life to it, he has, among other things, made the decoration of the chapel of his priory, frescoes, stained glass windows, furniture, on the theme of Saint Martha. 

Pablo Picasso, "La Crucifixion", 1930.

In this painting, the sacred motif is linked to the expression of human suffering and to Picasso's personal obsessions. We find, as in a hallucinatory vision, all the characters of the Passion: Christ and the Virgin pale against a background of darkness, Mary Magdalene pleading, the spear-carrier like a picador piercing Jesus, while two centurions play dice with his tunic near the two lying thieves. But other forms from Picasso's imagination blend with Christian iconography: a blue head of a praying mantis, the face face and profile inscribed in a yellow triangle reminiscent of Maria Theresa, a solar figure with a red mask and green hair, possible images of Mary Salome and the apostle John. A green mass, a sponge soaked in vinegar, a stone or the darkened sun of the Gospels, scares away a bird.

"Crucifixion Hypercube" by Salvador Dalí, 1954.

Good Friday recalls the day of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is part of the Easter Triduum, which extends from Holy Thursday (commemoration of the last meal of Christ with his apostles) to Vespers on Easter Sunday.
Jesus is brought before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. They are looking for reasons to condemn him, false witnesses come forward and testify against him. Accused of blasphemy, Jesus is sentenced to death. Since the Roman authority had taken away the right of the Sanhedrin to execute death sentences, Jesus was taken before Pilate who, learning that Jesus was from the jurisdiction of Galilee, sent him to Herod who sent him back to Pilate. Pilate, convinced of Jesus' innocence, makes several attempts to have him acquitted, offering to free him to the crowd. The crowd shouts at Jesus: "Let him be crucified! Then begins the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the way of the cross and then the crucifixion and death of Jesus on Mount Golgotha.

Very little known, this painting by André Derain, "La Cène". Jesus takes his last meal with the twelve Apostles in the room known as the "Cenacle". The Cène (Last Supper), from the Latin cena, "evening meal, dinner" is the name given in the Christian religion to the last meal that Jesus Christ had with the twelve apostles on Thursday of the Jewish Passover, shortly before his arrest, the day before his crucifixion and three days before his resurrection. After celebrating the Passover with them, he instituted the Eucharist "This is my body, this is my blood".

Marc Chagall, "Les Israélites mangent l'Agneau de la Pâque", 1931. 

Marc Chagall left us on March 28, 1985, peacefully, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence at the age of 98. While in 1931, Chagall did not know Saint-Paul, I find that the white roof incredibly resembles the ramparts of the village topped by its tightly packed houses. Well, everyone sees a bit of their own history in it.

In an interview with the Italian Jesuit newspaper La Civiltà Cattolica, Pope Francis spoke of his taste for art. We learned that he particularly appreciated Caravaggio. In the interview, he also mentioned his affection for Marc Chagall's painting " La Crucifixion blanche ". This painting was done in 1938, the year of the tragic Crystal Night (November 9-10, 1938). The painting already foreshadowed the horror that the Jewish people would experience during the Second World War. The symbolism of this painting is very strong and the references to the Jewish religion are numerous. For example, the loincloth of Christ is replaced by a "tallit", a shawl used for Jewish prayer. Also, on the right side of the painting, a German synagogue is in flames. On the left, we can see the persecution suffered by the Jews during the Russian Civil War (1917-1923).

Extraordinary photograph of the Pope's Easter blessing, circa 1880.
Traffic jam of carriages, fiacres, trinqueballes and other horse-drawn carriages.

Jackson Pollock (Attribué à), Crucifixion, circa 1940.

Bernard Buffet, "La Passion du Christ", 1951 

"At Easter, the egg hunt in Grandma and Grandpa's garden is of unparalleled splendor. My grandparents have eighty centimeters high eggs made of nougatine according to the tradition of the Midi, and scatter them in the garden. With our gang, we share three to four full wheelbarrows of sweets. Everything is in profusion. Grandpa even had the fantasy of slipping in some ceramic eggs made by Miró among the sweets.
How can you more elegantly give a work of art to your grandchildren?"
(Excerpt from The Maeght Saga).