Mary wife of Cleophas and Mary Magdelene are two of the figures in the group comprising the “Lamentation over the Dead Christ”
The Lamentation of Christ in Death is a group of seven, life-size, terracotta sculptures that is now thought to date to 1485, located in the Sanctuary of the church of Santa Maria della Vita in the medieval market district of Bologna. Once painted, the sculptures comprise a dramatic work combining Northern European “realism” in the expressions and action of the figures at the foot of Christ’s cross with a classical treatment of their flowing dress.
The sculptor who created this astonishing work is Niccolò dell’Arca (‘Nicolas of the Tomb’). He was apparently best known for the “wedding cake” spire and figures he added to the tomb of St Dominic in the Basilica San Domenico in Bologna in 1469. But the tomb — a carved sarcophagus surmounting an altar — is now overwhelmed in the Chapel of St Dominic by a magnificent baroque nave and dome with a fresco of the “Glory of St Dominic” by Guido Reni.
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