Holbein is one of the greatest German artists. He lived in the 16th century, was not rich, did not disdain handicrafts, most often wrote on religious or mythological topics. It is characterized by lightness and liveliness of the brush, attention to detail, some caustic sarcasm and lack of tendency to flattery. Among his paintings are portraits and frescoes, icons for noble families and works “for the soul,” which, as a rule, seem to descendants the most worthy of attention.
"Dead Christ" is written against all canons, in a manner peculiarly impudent and even a little creepy. Typically, Christ, portrayed in a tomb, seems to artists to be majestic and calm, even in death retaining a certain divine dignity. It is untouched by decomposition, it has clean clothes on it, it looks completely ready for its own triumph over death.
The "Dead Christ" of Holbein is an ordinary, completely human corpse. He was already numb, a wound from a spear under his ribs, bloody wounds on his arms and legs from nails, scratches on his forehead. The hair stuck together and curled up, the glazed eyes rolled up, his mouth was ajar, and a slight shadow of decay is visible, which is not surprising given the three-day term of imprisonment in the grave. There is neither greatness, nor quiet peace. It looks the same as any dead crucified would look like.
Many consider this picture a consequence of Holbein's atheism. Dostoevsky, through the mouth of Prince Myshkin in "The Idiot", spoke of her - "After all, from such a person faith may disappear." Others believe that all the ugliness, all the voidness and abomination of death was shown by Holbein precisely in order to make the resurrection brighter and more delightful. From real death, genuine, with all its filth and disgust - to eternal life, to imperishability and peace.
Certainty, however, is not. The artist himself has been in the grave for several centuries and will not explain anything to anyone.
NG Schilder Temptation