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Raphael often happened to turn to Christian subjects. Rethinking them, he sometimes changed them so that they changed a little, becoming livelier and fuller.
The “position in the tomb” depicts the moment when the body of Christ, taken from the cross, was carried by his relatives and friends. Holding it on a stretched fabric, they take it to the gardens, where one rich man provided his personal tomb for burial.
The body of Christ is lifeless. On the arms and legs are bloody marks from nails, the head is thrown back, eyes are closed. The body hangs in a way that a living person cannot hang - relaxed and at the same time very soft, like a bag of flour, not flesh and bones. It is carried by students, supported, pulled. Their faces are mournful, the youngest reaches for Christ, as if wanting to touch him and not believing that he could die. None of them believe, but the body in their hands is the best evidence of death.
Men who carry the body are followed by women. Among them was Maria, but in the picture she loses consciousness, stumbles, and is caught, supported by caring sympathetic hands. Mary Magdalene, kneeling, not believing in death and mourning for the dead, is drawn to catch the Virgin and her pose itself expresses confusion and horror. The rest are calmer, they hold on better, and somewhere far away, over the procession - awkward, mournful, afraid of the cause for which they have gathered - crosses rise on the bald Calvary, who is forever destined to remain in human memory as a place where God was crucified.
Rafael gives the scene a sad vitality, creates from it something that is intuitive. At one glance, the sorrow and confusion of the disciples are visible, the face of the Virgin expresses mortal torment, as if she had been crucified with her son, as if all his pain was hers.
Using mercilessly bright colors, Raphael shows how terrible it is that the world continued to be, and continued to be, without fading, not becoming less festive.
God died, and no one except his disciples noticed this.
Mane Pictures With Titles