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Michelangelo's Risen Christ

William E. Wallace
The Sixteenth Century Journal
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Winter, 1997), pp. 1251-1280
DOI: 10.2307/2543577
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2543577
Page Count: 30
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Michelangelo's Risen Christ
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Abstract

The Risen Christ by Michelangelo in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome is one of the artist's least admired works. While modern observers frequently have found fault with the statue, it satisfied its patrons enormously and was widely admired by contemporaries. Not least, the sculpture has suffered from the manner in which it is presently displayed and from biased photographic reproduction that emphasizes unfavorable and inappropriate views of Christ. In this paper, I examine the Risen Christ afresh by restoring it to its original context and discussing its unusual and moving iconography. Thus, it is possible to comprehend the effect of the Christ as a devotional object, to appreciate its success as a work of art, and to account for some of the modern distaste.

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