Rubens’ Raising of Lazarus –
Fused “into an Unprecedented Unity”
After the Destroyed Berlin Oil
Rubens, Peter Paul (Siegen 1577 – Antwerp 1640). The Raising of Lazarus / Die Auferweckung des Lazarus. Lazarus rising from sketched cave-grave on the left welcomed by Christ going to him from right with the raised right as well as gesture of the wonder as by way of subsequent welcoming. Between both Lazarus’ two sisters and two men, possibly a Jew and an apostle standing for the two parties of witnesses. Respectively one of this group striving for loosening of the shrouds. Steel engraving by Merckel. 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: Museum in Berlin. / P. P. Rubens pt. / Merckel sc., otherwise in German-English as above. 7 × 4⅞ in (17.9 × 12.5 cm).
Guratzsch, Die Auferweckung des Lazarus in der niederländischen Kunst von 1400 bis 1700, Kortrijk 1980, vol. I, pp. 121 ff. along with ills. 118 (vol. II) for the former Berlin oil (about 1618/20; canvas, 103½ × 77⅛ in [263 × 196 cm], originally probably rounded out above) + colorplate XI, together as jacket-ills. of both volumes, for the differing oil sketch in the Louvre.
“ Christ and Lazarus are additionally bound by their intensive line of sight running diagonally, leading through a ‘corridor’ formed by the four heads of the witnesses … (Their) line of sight is crosswise … – this greatest of all Jesus wonders is understandable only in the light of the cross – … related to Lazarus and Christ … Rubens has filled the scene with all the dramatic inherent to such a reunion.
The hasting along to each other is full of dynamic .
Lazarus actually weakened by death presses with determined step into the open arms of Christ … The thematic consequence of both works
goes far beyond the preceding depictions
… Rubens fuses … the scene of raising into an unprecedented unity … The raised is experienced as reality. His enthusiastic coming out … is most evident expression of regained life ”
(Herwig Guratzsch). – Most wide-margined, of impeccable freshness.
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