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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Joseph of Arimathea

ca. 1230-1240

Attributed to the “Descent from the Cross” workshop, Tivoli

The subject of this incomplete sculpture has been identified as Joseph of Arimathea, the disciple who asked Pontius Pilate for permission to bury the crucified body of Jesus. The posture with the slightly raised head, body turned to one side and outheld arms indicates that Joseph was reaching to receive the body of Christ taken down from the cross. The statue was thus originally part of a large sculptural group of the Descent from the Cross, with the figures of Christ, the Virgin, St John and Nicodemus. The faithful came, especially at Easter, to gather before these sculpted narrative decorations inspired by the Mysteries, which were very common in the churches of central Italy during the 13th century and in Gothic reredos.

Artwork Details

Artist: Attributed to the “Descent from the Cross” workshop, Tivoli
Title: Joseph of Arimathea
Geography: Central Italy
Date: ca. 1230-1240

Medium: wood, traces of paint

Classification: sculpture
Dimensions: 142 x 50 x 26 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2013.005
Contact for images: [email protected]

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