This scene, which comes from the Gospel of Matthew, is painted in a rich Rococo palette of warm yellows, silvers, and reds. The colors serve to accentuate the drama of the moment that Christ’s resurrection from the tomb is witnessed by a Roman centurion. An angel holds the tomb open for Christ, who levitates above. While one of the Roman soldiers is sleeping, the other raises his spear and looks up in astonishment. Like the guardian of the tomb, we see Christ from below. This illusionistic technique is known in Italian as di sotto in sù. Yet another foreshortening technique is the presentation of Christ’s right arm extending toward us, while his left arm stretches back into space. In contrast to the detailed figures, the sky and rock cliff are softly rendered because of the halo of golden light emanating from Christ’s head. This use of atmospheric perspective lends further three-dimensionality to the figure. The celebration of the resurrection is dramatic because of the tightness of the composition and its framing.


  • Title: The Resurrection
  • Creator: Carle Van Loo
  • Date Created: 1734
  • Provenance: Bequest of Beatrice M. Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.
  • Subject Keywords: Permanent Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Creator Details: French, 1705 - 1765
  • Accession Number: 2005.9

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