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Joseph of ArimatheaA Study in Reception History$
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William John Lyons

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695911.001.0001

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The Renaissance Joseph

The Renaissance Joseph

(p.45) 3 The Renaissance Joseph
Joseph of Arimathea

William John Lyons

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines representations of Joseph in the painting traditions of the European Renaissance. The discussion focuses on four examples: Simon Bening's Joseph of Arimathea Before Pilate (c.1525–30); Rogier van Der Weyden's Descent from the Cross (c.1435); Sandro Botticelli's Lamentation over the Dead Christ (c.1495), also known as the Milan Pietà; and Michelangelo Buonarroti's The Entombment (c.1500–1501). A excursus takes advantage of the chapter's discussions of the Pietà and Michelangelo to introduce an idea which invoked Joseph for support, that of ‘Nicodemism’ — the hiding of one's faith for fear of Persecution — as illuminated by the issues surrounding his Florentine Pietà (c.1547–55), also sometimes called The Deposition. The chapter concludes with a discussion of A. Soudavar's 2008 interpretation of Simon Marmion's Ducal Lamentation (c.1465) as an allegory of the high politics of fifteenth-century Europe.

Keywords:   paintings, European Renaissance, Simon Bening, Rogier van Der Weyden, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Nicodemism, A. Soudavar, of Simon Marmion

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