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Copper engraving.

This collection of illustrated Biblical scenes contains text in French and Latin. This book was published in Paris sometime around 1650. The publisher and engraver of this work was Pierre Mariette I, who died in 1657. In mid-seventeenth century France, the monarchy controlled politics and culture. Cardinal Richelieu, Chief Minister to King Louis XIII, established the French royal printing-office, the Imprimerie Royale, in 1640. In the years to follow, King Louis XIV would come to establish a number of academies to both promote the arts and inhibit challenges to his royal authority.


Here the artist depicts the risen Christ floating above a disrupted tomb. His body is surrounded by a bright aura, and he holds two fingers on his right hand toward the sky. His feet show wounds from the nails. He is depicted with hollow cheeks against the bright emanation of light and the effect is quite ghostly. Around the tomb a large group of soldiers hold various poses; some seem to be rising from slumber, other sleeping. One soldier shields his face from Christ; others brandish weapons as they turn to flee. In the distance the sun is rising and the three crosses stand on a hill. Three woman holding urns approach.


Artwork in the public domain