The Resurrection of the Daughter of Jairus
Artist: Paolo Veronese
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 42 x 37 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Paolo Veronese was born in 1528 as Paolo Caliari in Verona, Italy. He became known as “Veronese” when he moved to Venice, after his hometown. His father, Gabriele di Piero, was a stonecutter and Veronese was apprenticed to Antonio Badile at the age of fourteen. He went on to study Mannerism in Parma and then moved to Mantua where he painted frescoes for churches. Veronese started his career making frescoes for houses and the villas. He spent a great deal of his life in Venice. He received his first state commission in 1553 for the hall of the Council of Ten in the Doge’s Palace and is credited for many paintings in other rooms of the palace, such as the Hall of the College and the Hall of the Great Council. He completed numerous large-scale “feast” paintings that required him to have several assistants. In 1573 Veronese was called before a council of the Inquisition to answer for “vulgar images” in one of his Feast paintings, such as drunkards, buffoons, and German soldiers. Veronese died on April 19, 1588 from pneumonia.
Veronese was famous for his usage of bright and vibrant colors in his paintings. His painting of the Resurrection of the Daughter of Jairus is no exception. It is evident that he favored a vibrant array of greens and reds for this painting, the more prominent color being a bright emerald green. This color appears to be associated with Jairus’s family because it appears on Jairus, his daughter, and a mother figure in the image. There is another figure with the same green out in the courtyard, behind the focus of the scene, and other than minstrel or mourner, his relation to the family is unclear. Veronese set the scene, which was originally in the young girl’s chambers, out in a royal courtyard. The wailing women and minstrels that Jesus sent out from her bed chamber can be seen through a doorway, out in the courtyard area of the palatial building.
The focus of the painting is guided towards Jesus’ head, which is subtly highlighted with a halo. He is holding the hand of the young girl, telling her to awaken and she does. The scene is very peaceful in tone, despite the fact that Jesus just brought a child back from the dead. Jairus’s figure appears to be in a mild state of disbelief, but is calm and collected. His gaze meets that of Jesus and Jesus returns a confident look, reassuring Jarius that all is well. The whole scene is joyous and bright because of Jesus’ miracle.
In 1648 Carlo Ridolfi, of Verona, claimed that this painting, sitting at the Louvre Museum in Paris, is a copy of the original that was supposed to be in the church of San Sebastiano in Verona. Several sources suggest that a rich man bought the original in secret and commissioned a copy for the church.