Meditazione sulla passione (c.1490)

Carpaccio, Vittore (c.1460-c.1526)

Meditazione sulla passione (The Meditation on the Passion)
Oil and tempera on wood, 66.5 × 84.5 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

This remarkable picture is a meditation on death and resurrection. Christ’s dead body is displayed on a broken throne inscribed in pseudo-Hebrew. A bird, a symbol of the soul, flies upward. The landscape—contrastingly barren and lush—alludes to the themes of death and life, as do the animals. The Old Testament prophet Job sits on a block inscribed in pseudo-Hebrew while opposite is Saint Jerome (ca. 347–420), who wrote a commentary on the book of Job. The turbaned figures in the background would have been familiar to Venetians through their trade with the Middle East and Egypt. (MET)