The Resurrection: The Three Marys at the Tomb

12th century
The Holy Chamber, Cathedral of St. Savior, Oviedo, Spain

The image on the capital of this column is based on Luke 24:1-8, the only account in which the women find two "men… in shining apparel" (in veste fulgenti). Mark (16:1-7) and Matthew (28:1-7) record only one. Matthew refers to the one as an "Angel of the Lord" and Luke's veste fulgenti implies that that is what they are in his account also; thus, our artist have given them wings.

In Luke the women "were afraid, and bowed down their countenance towards the ground" but given the shape provided by the capital the artist decided to have them register their surprise with their hands while standing straight. The woman closest to the tomb has a spice jar in her left hand. According to Luke and Mark they had come to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. The image follows Mark in portraying three women rather than the two in Matthew. Luke does not give a number.

Here are the left and right faces of the capital, which picture four soldiers (mentioned only in Matthew):



View the left face in full resolution
View the front face in full resolution
View the right face in full resolution

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Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.