Of all of the great paintings and representations of the events of Good Friday, none is more inspiring, more compelling or more overwhelming than Caravaggio's Deposition From The Cross.
This magnificent painting is part of the Vatican collection.
This masterpiece measures nearly 10 feet by 7 feet and it totally envelopes you with its majesty, poignancy, spirituality and deep sense of humanity.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio did not really portray the Burial or the Deposition in the traditional way, inasmuch as Christ is not shown at the moment when he is laid in the tomb, but rather when, in the presence of the holy women, he is laid by Nicodemus and John on the Anointing Stone, that is the stone with which the sepulchre will be closed. Around the body of Christ are the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, John, Nicodemus and Mary of Cleophas, who raises her arms and eyes to heaven in a gesture of high dramatic tension.
Caravaggio, who arrived in Rome in 1592, was the protagonist of a real artistic revolution regarding the way of treating subjects and the use of color and light, and was certainly the most important personage of the "realist" trend of seventeenth century painting.
If you have never seen this treasured work of art, you owe it to yourself to be in its presence.
I was, and I was transformed by it.