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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

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 The Renaissance Joseph
Source:
Joseph of Arimathea
Author(s):

William John Lyons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695911.003.0004

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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