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Raising of the Son of the Widow of Naim (recto) Madonna and Child with Saints (verso)
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Naldini, Giovanni Battista
Italian, about 1575
Pen and iron gall ink, brown wash, white heightening, and black chalk on blue paper (recto); black chalk (verso)
8 1/2 x 12 1/2 in.
88.GA.53

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As Christ and his disciples approach the town of Nain in Galilee, they meet the funeral procession of a young man, followed by his widowed mother. Pitying the poor woman, Christ lifts one hand towards the bier, and the body of the man comes to life. In front of an arched gateway leading into the town, a crowd gathers around Christ and the dead man as he prepares to rise by stretching out one leg. Giovanni Battista Naldini presented the dramatic conclusion to a miracle found in Saint Luke's Gospel. He sketched the scene quickly with pen and brown ink, focusing on the huddled mass of figures rather than the details of individual faces. Dark strokes of brown wash give depth and form to the shapes, while white heightening creates highlights on the muscular naked body of the dead man, on Christ's lower robes, and on other figures in the foreground. Naldini made this drawing as a preparatory sketch for an altarpiece for a church in Florence.