The Entombment of Christ


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 537

The entombment of Christ after the Crucifixion is variously described in the Four Gospels. Each of the accounts notes the presence of a wealthy man at the scene, Joseph of Arimathea; with him, according to Matthew and Mark, were Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James. However, only the Gospel of Saint John refers to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, as being in attendance. None of the Gospels describes the crowd of mourners gathered at the bier, as seen here, but the depiction of such a group is typical in French art of the Gothic period.

About 1400, the technique of enameling en ronde-bosse, which was used for this plaque, became a hallmark of goldsmiths' work for the French royal court. Jewel-like in its effect, it combines luminous color-as well as, here, the mottled gray of the sarcophagus and the floral patterning on the Virgin's gown-with finely detailed goldwork, as seen in the precisely detailed physiognomies and the scroll pattern stippled on the gold ground.

The Entombment of Christ, Opaque and translucent enamel on gold, French

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.