Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Please, do not be afraid.

We are struck by the serenity and deep quiet of this fresco by Piero della Francesca. The atmosphere seems clear, crisp; and the landscape communicates the transformation that Jesus' rising has accomplished- to his left all is barren, at his right all the trees are in full leaf. 

The guards doze oblivious, as a majestic young Christ steps confidently out of his marble sepulchre. His voluminous mantle is rosy pink - the color of dawn's first brightening, the color of spring blossoms, the color of healthy young flesh. His hair swept back, blood trickling from his wounded side, Jesus is depicted by Piero as an athletic, victorious warrior just back from his battle with all the powers of sin and death. His divinity and humanity are perfectly merged. Jesus carries a furling banderole of victory and pauses to gaze at us. "It is really I; do not be afraid. Sin and death no longer have any power over you."

Resurrection,  Piero della Francesca, fresco, c. 1460, San Sepulcro, Italy.