Jesus with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea

Entombment of Jesus with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, 1453. Limestone, Hôtel-Dieu of Tonnerre.

There were two types of Holy Sepulcher or Entombment of Jesus sculptures in Medieval Europe: permanent structures made of stone and temporary wooden pieces. The permanent monuments were situated in the nave of churches and could be seen throughout the year. The movable ones were set-up during the feast of the Holy Week and used to illustrate the resurrection.

This piece from Tonnere France is in the mise au tombeau style and was created in 1453 by Jean Michel and Georges de la Sonnette. It consists of seven life-sized figures surrounding the body of Christ: Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, John, Mary and the myrrh-bearing women. This style of tableau follows the theatrical styles of religious dramas and often conflate several stories together.

Jean Michel and Georges de la Sonnette, entombment of Jesus with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, circa 1451-1454.

The man who donated his own tomb for the burial of Jesus.

Associated with a deity; exhibiting religious importance; set apart from ordinary (i.e. "profane") things.

Of or relating to the Middle Ages, generally from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. and overlapping somewhat with late antiquity.

A resin or oil from certain small trees found in many regions of the world that is used as a perfume or incense and also medicinally.

Literally "mound," a small hill-shaped site containing numerous occupational layers of a town or city built on top of one another over millennia.

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