DONATELLO
(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)

The Women at the Tomb

1460-65
Bronze
San Lorenzo, Florence

This relief is on the Resurrection Pulpit. The relief depicts the moment at which the women discover Christ's empty tomb and an angel tells them about the Resurrection. The dramatic scene takes place in a narrow, loggia-like room, behind the roof of which we can even make out some trees as an indication of a landscape. While the woman coming down the steps on the left still appears to be mourning the death of Christ, the one on the right is already leaning over the empty sarcophagus and is seized by despair. Meanwhile, an angel is using sweeping gestures to inform the third woman of the Resurrection of the crucified Christ. She is clutching the column placed before her, as if she is about to lose consciousness in the face of the miraculous events.