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Position in the coffin - Michelangelo da Caravaggio. Oil on canvas, 300x203 cm
The gloom that has spread across the earth parted before a tragic action: five are put in the stone grave of the sixth - Christ. The Apostle John and Elder Nicodemus hardly hold in their hands the body of their Master, lifted from the cross. John set up his knee and clasped his hand around Jesus, clumsily placing his fingers in the wound from the spear. On Nicodemus, the whole burden of the Savior's dead body fell - the veins on the legs were swollen with tension, the old man looked towards the viewer and seemed to give us his burden.
The edge of the gravestone and Nicodemus’s elbow are tangibly present “behind the canvas”, they are about to “break through” the space. The composition of Caravaggio’s masterpiece is impeccable - a pyramid of six figures begins on the upper right from the arms of Mary raised to the sky, past the bowed head of Mary Magdalene, to the figure of the Virgin Mary and then to Nicodemus and John, and completes the whole hand of Christ himself. In this case, all illuminated parts of the figures form a regular oval.
There are no screams or tears in the picture, all participants in the mourning procession in deep and quiet sadness say goodbye to Christ forever ... But soon they will see the Resurrection of the Teacher, see the eternal Life. Light conquers darkness. Death will be trampled upon by death in the name of the Salvation of man.