(b. 1559, Passignano, d. 1638, Firenze)

The Resurrection

Oil on canvas, 112 x 70 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

In the latter half of the seventeenth century this painting was placed in the Chapel of Saint Ignatius, located in the area known as La Storta, 12 km outside Rome on the Via Cassia. The picture, probably born out of devotional motives, is a worthy example of the mature works of Passignano.

It conforms to the pictorial requirements of the Counter-Reformation, which encouraged paintings designed to explain theology according to the dictates of Church teachings. Typical, for example, was the use of "captions" drawn from passages in the Bible. Passignano created two distinct zones in his canvas: below, there is the darkness of the sepulcher, with the guards asleep next to a nearly spent fire; above, a radiant and triumphant Christ encircled by angels.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 22 minutes):
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa brevis