Ferdinand Bol (1616-80), The Holy Women at the Sepulchre, 1644

Ferdinand Bol (1616-80), The Holy Women at the Sepulchre, 1644. Oil on canvcas. 278.5 x 357 cm. KMSsp427
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With their theatrical gestures, the four women embody a full range of reactions that join up to form a cohesive sequence over time. Their agitation is contrasted by the calmness of the angels.

A biblical narrative
Ferdinand Bol based his monumental painting on the biblical narrative (Luke 24: 1-10) about the women who had travelled with Christ from Galilee arriving at the tomb on the Monday following Good Friday. The tomb had been sealed with a large stone, and soldiers guarded it to prevent anyone from removing the body and claiming that Jesus had risen from the dead as prophesied.

Ferdinand Bol depicts the shock felt by the women when they discovered an open tomb and, instead of a dead Jesus, found two men in shimmering, luminous garb.

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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