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St. John relates, in his Gospel, that Lazarus being sick, his sisters, Martha and Mary, sent unto Jesus Christ; but our Saviour having delayed coming, Lazarus had been dead four days, when he arrived at Bethany. « Then Martha said unto Jesus: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died; but I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.» Mary being come fell down at our Saviour's feet, weeping. Jesus came to the grave. It was a cave and a stone lay upon it, which being removed, Jesus Christ cried with a loud voice: « Lazarus, come forth.» And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. »
Jouvenet has shewn great talent in this composition : the expressions are varied, the attitudes noble, the draperies well thrown but the colouring and designing are not so well as might he wished.
This picture is one of the four painted to decorate the choir of the church of St. Martin-des-Champs. The use of the abbey having been altered to another object, this picture is now in the grand Saloon, which leads to the Gallery of the Louvre. It has been engraved by John Audran.
Width, 21 feet 3 inches; height, 12 feet 9 inches.
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