GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)
No. 25 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 9. Raising of Lazarus1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
This scene is composed with the heightened effect of the gaze and gesture of Christ in mind. The rhythm of the individual gestures and the reactions of those present clearly show the energy which emanates from Christ, which startles the onlookers and wakes Lazarus from the dead. This energy carries on like an arrested wave into the narrative details: the arrangement of the folds in Lazarus' winding sheet or in the hitched up cloak of the disciple next to him are touched by it, as are the precisely characterized faces.
Giotto (or a pupil of Giotto) painted this scene again in the Magdalen Chapel of the Lower Church of San Frencesco at Assisi in a larger version, using the same figures with similar attitudes.