Provenance : Collection of Maurice Larminet (1883-1968), Mons-en-Baroeulbois
This event on which is founded the Christian doctrine follows the cycle of the Passion and is at the heart of theological discourses. Three days after the burying of Christ, the holy women (the number varies from one gospel to another) went to the tomb only to find it empty. To make the disappearance even more miraculous Saint Matthew adds that Roman soldiers were guarding the tomb (Matt 27, 62-66).
Christ is depicted standing, with the left leg out of the tomb. The beard is delicately trimmed and the body half covered by a heavy shroud. The revealed torso emphasizes the physical and humane reality of the resurrected body. The scar of the spear is visible on His flank marking His Passion.
The pyramidal composition raises Christ to a prominent position. He stands above the viewers as above the two soldiers flanking the grave. One of them is still asleep. They are stunned by the miracle that just happened. Their movements contrast with the calm authority of Christ.
The soldiers’ armours and their expressive faces suggest this sculpture was made during the early 16th century. The same clues point at an artist who would originates from the Southern Netherlands. This carved wood probably belonged to a larger ensemble illustrating the scenes of the life and Passion of Christ.