Christ and St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb

The day after the Crucifixion, Mary Magdalene found Christ’s tomb empty. Two angels spoke to her as she wept, and when she turned she saw a man she thought was a gardener. Rembrandt sticks closely to the passage in the Gospel of John, which poses the question of the risen Christ’s appearance, because Mary Magdalene recognizes neither his face nor his voice. The figure of Christ eludes understanding, and the rising sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era for mankind.
Rembrandt (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn) (1606 – 1669)
Oil on wood – H. 61 cm; W. 49.5 cm – Signed and dated on the tomb – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Royal Collection, London, RCIN 404816
© 2011 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II