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Possibly by Simon de Vos, The Raising of Lazarus

Key facts
Full title The Raising of Lazarus
Artist Possibly by Simon de Vos
Artist dates 1603 - 1676
Date made 1625-76
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 109.2 × 160 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Mrs Marion C. Smith, 1967
Inventory number NG6384
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Raising of Lazarus
Possibly by Simon de Vos

Christ knew Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, who sent for him when Lazarus became sick. He didn‘t go at once: Lazarus lived in Bethany, where Christ had been stoned for his radical preaching and his disciples were reluctant for him to return. On hearing that Lazarus was dead they set off, arriving to find that he had died four days before. In spite of objections, Christ ordered the stone to be rolled away from the grave, gave a blessing, and Lazarus was revived.

The raising of Lazarus, told in the Gospel of John, is thought to prefigure Christ’s death and the Resurrection. Here, Simon de Vos has put a seventeenth-century interpretation on the story, using contemporary clothing for the women while the men are in versions of imagined ’biblical dress'. Instead of a stone in front of a cave, de Vos has shown a spade beside a pit and, in the background, the monumental upheaval of the stonework of a classical tomb.

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