Fragment of a Double Capital: Mary and Martha at the Raising of Lazarus

Fragment of a Double Capital: Mary and Martha at the Raising of Lazarus


Quartz sandstone with traces of polychromy

Overall: 30.2 x 22.9 x 17.2 cm (11 7/8 x 9 x 6 3/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1968.35



The front face of this capital fragment presents the two mourning women identified by the inscription above: MARIA ET MARTA. On the left face appears the body of Lazarus in a sarcophagus bearing Christ's words: VENI FORAS ("[Lazarus], come forth" [John 11:43]). The Raising of Lazarus is one of the most popular themes in Christian art. This miracle represents Christ's power over death and thus prefigures the Resurrection. It also speaks of the hope of resurrection for all individuals, a common theme in early Christian catacombs and sarcophagi. The subject is less prevalent in sculpture of the Romanesque period, though quite popular in other media.

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