Lamentation by Giotto di Bondone (1267- 1337)
GIiotto di Bondone (1267- 1337)
Lamentation 1304-06 Fresco, 200 x 185 cm 
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua




by Beth Houston





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— Giotto, c. 1305

Like flames on struck matchsticks, angels flash, grief
Flickers through dusk blue blocks of sky, brushstrokes
Show creation, emotion, and our brief
Bland life the leafless tree of knowledge pokes
With thorns; a scarp divides two worlds and leads
Beyond the rolled stone. On this flat surface
Seven children of God mourning exceeds
Illusions of bodies moving through space.
Spirit-embodied flesh, in muted hues,
Integrates the drama’s stages of grief.
Mother Love, holding Christ, in twilight blues,
John, arms thrown back like wings, transcend belief.
Facts, with backs to us, complicate their gloom:
Two faceless, hooded keepers of the tomb.

 The Entry of Christ Into the Castro


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