Entombment by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Following the crucifixion, Christ's nude body, muscular but dead, is being lowered into the tomb, accompanied by gestures, bodily positions and facial expressions of intense but controlled grief in the five figures that assist and accompany the burial...the three Marys: including the Virgin, the Virgin's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene; Nicodemus, who, in tradition, removed the nails from Christ's feet on the cross; and a shadowy figure identified as either John, writer of the Gospel, or Joseph of Arimathea, who obtained Christ's body from the Romans. For simplicity's sake, we'll call him John.

There are few histrionics; just deep loss. Caravaggio's tightly compact figure composition, set against a background of the absolute blackness of death and emotional suffering, creates...
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