Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Life and Passion of Christ by Gaudenzio Ferrari

Photo: Stories of The Life and Passion of Christ (1513) by Gaudenzio Ferrari, fresco at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Italy

The picture depicts Ferrari's wall, narrating the Stories of the Life and Passion of Christ, in the Church of Our Lady of the Graces (Santa Maria delle Grazie), a Roman Catholic Church in Italy. The giant fresco admeasuring 82 square meters was completed by Gaudenzio Ferrari, the Italian painter and sculptor of the Renaissance, in 1513. Twenty equal frames narrate the main events in the gospels, in addition to the Crucifixion scene in the center that occupies four frames.

The Biblical scenes depicted in the fresco are briefly as below:

In Annunciation Gabriel announces to Virgin Mary that she would conceive the Son of God and become his mother. The angel also tells her to name him Jesus.

The Nativity of Jesus is the scene after the birth of Jesus, born in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod the Great, the king of Judea.

The Adoration of the Magi shows the visit of the Magi who spotted and followed a new star until they found baby Jesus. They saw him with mother Mary, knelt down before him and paid homage. They also presented him with expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The Flight into Egypt displays Joseph fleeing to Egypt with Mary and infant Jesus after the Magi told them that King Herod planned to kill all the newborns.

The Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist is the forerunner to the public ministry of Jesus.

The Resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany (Saint Lazarus) is a miracle of Jesus, who resurrects Lazarus four days after his death.

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, days before the Last Supper, marks the beginning of his Passion. People crowded around Jesus, believed in him and welcomed him as he entered Jerusalem.

The Last Supper was the last meal shared by Jesus with his Apostles before his crucifixion.

The Washing of the Feet, commemorated on Maundy Friday, shows the event in which Jesus washes the feet of his Apostles.

The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane refers to the events in the life of Jesus between the Farewell Discourse at the Last Supper and his arrest by the temple guards.

The Arrest of Jesus by the Temple guards in the Garden of Gethsemane was shortly after the Last Supper, and immediately after the kiss of Judas.

The Trial of Jesus at Herod's Court refers to an episode in which Herod Antipas and his soldiers mock at Jesus, and sent him back to Pontius Pilate for the final trial.

The Trial of Jesus at Pilate's Court refers to the final trial of Jesus. Though Pontius Pilate publicly declared that Jesus was innocent, the crowd insisted on his punishment. Pilate then ordered crucifixion of Jesus.

The Flagellation of Christ is a scene in the cycles of the Passion and the Life of Christ.

Ecce Homo (Behold the man), the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate, when he presented Jesus, bound with ropes and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd.

Via Dolorosa (The Way of Grief) is a street in the Old City of Jerusalem, the path Jesus walked on his way to Crucifixion.

Preparation of the Cross: Christ falls down after which the cross is prepared to crucify him.

In Crucifixion of Jesus (depicted in the large central frame of the fresco), Jesus was stripped of his clothing and hung between two convicted thieves. The soldiers then cast lots for his clothes.

The Lamentation of Christ shows his friends mourning over his body after Jesus was crucified and his body was removed from the cross.

Christ's Descent into Limbo is the scene where Jesus experienced death and his soul joined the other souls in the realm of the dead, but he descended there as the Saviour of the souls imprisoned there.

The Resurrection of Jesus depicts his rising again from the dead. According to the New Testament, after crucifixion, he was buried in a tomb but God resurrected him from the dead.

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