The Raising of Lazarus – Justin Fink

20 Apr



Artist: Sebastiano del Piombo

Medium: oil on canvas

Date: Began in 1517, Ended in 1519

Location: The National Gallery: London, England

Dimensions: 381 x 289.6 cm

Just like many of the other artists displayed throughout this site, Sebastiano del Piombo was not the true name of the artist.  His given name was Sebastiano Luciani. He was born during the year 1485, but a specific date is not give, like a large amount of people during this time.  He was originally from Venice and known as a Venetian painter, however most of his art was created during his time in Rome.

Piombo was involved with many famous artists. He first trained with Giovanni Bellini who is known for many pieces, one being The Drunkeness of Noah. The artist most famous of all that Piombo got to work alongside with was Michelangelo.  During the time of the Renaissance, Michelangelo and Raphael were large rivals. It would be Michelangelo who would take Sebastiano under his wing and influence him.  Throughout Piombo’s time working with Michelangleo, the amazing artist would recommend people to go to Piombo for his work over Raphael’s to form a competition and huge rivalry between the painters.

The portrait created by Piombo entitled “The Raising of Lazarus” would be in response and a form of competition with Raphael and his version of the Transfiguration.  The two portraits would be given to the Narbonne Cathedral for decorative purposes.  It is with Piombo’s painting that it was proposed that Michelangelo helped and was a major influence in this work. The reasoning for why this was said was because at the time Michelangelo was trying to discredit Raphael for his work. Once Raphael had died, there was no longer a sense of competition and Piombo would stand out more because his portraits were able to be distinguished among other paintings because of his techniques and use of color. Later on his career, he would make seals for the Pope where he would gain the nickname of  “piombo” meaning made of lead in Italian.

The Rising of Lazarus is a depiction of a miracle Jesus had done through the eyes of Piombo.  The story, as told in John 11, tells of a man who had become ill. The man by the name of Lazarus loved the Lord and Jesus was aware of this fact. His sisters were in search of the Lord so that their brother could be healed. When the women had reached Christ they were in doubt that their brother would be alive and well again. Jesus calmed them by saying that Lazarus would rise again (John 11:23). Martha, one of the sisters, said that she knew that her brother would rise again. Jesus responded saying that He was “the resurrection and the life”. The individual who believed in Him will live and will never die.  Jesus came to the tomb where Lazarus was buried and commanded him to get up out of the grave. From the tomb, out walked Lazarus as if nothing had occurred.

This story of the relationship between Lazarus and Christ is something that everyone should strive for. Christ knew of the man’s love and belief in Him.  It is because Lazarus’ belief and love that he was able to be healed. He found that Jesus is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. Once we realize that, we are limitless. We can love as He did and show the truth about what God has done for us. We can do anything in the world with the help from the Lord, even rise from the dead.*/key-facts


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