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Friday, June 18, 2010

Vatican to mark 400 Years of Caravaggio's death


To mark the fourth centenary of the death of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office presents a series of postage stamps featuring what is considered one of Caravaggio's greatest masterpieces, The Deposition, a work commissioned by Girolamo Vittrice for his family chapel.

Previously on display in the Chiesa Nuova in Rome and now in the Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums, this large painting (300 cm x 203 cm) portrays what happened right before the Lord's burial. Depicted in the forefront is Nicodemus, the sympathetic leader of the Jews who is shown lifting the body of Jesus after it had been taken down from the cross. Behind him are the historical witnesses of the Passion: Mary of Cleophas looking upwards to heaven, Mary Magdalene weeping, the Blessed Mother expressing profound grief, and the disciple John trying to draw close to the Lord one last time.