Search
line drawing document and pencil

File a claim

Need to file an insurance claim? We’ll make the process as supportive, simple and swift as possible.
Team

Action Teams

If you want to make an impact in your community but aren't sure where to begin, we're here to help.
Illustration of stairs and arrow pointing upward

Contact support

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Need to discuss a complex question? Let us know—we’re happy to help.
Use the search bar above to find information throughout our website. Or choose a topic you want to learn more about.

Connecting art & faith: Spring 2022

Jen Mazza (American, b. 1972), The Resurrection, 2010
Jen Mazza (American, b. 1972), The Resurrection, 2010, Gouache, watercolor, and tempera on arches paper, © 2010 Jen Mazza, courtesy the artist and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, Thrivent Collection of Religious Art.

Warm sunlight glows from the horizon in Jen Mazza’s painted landscape, The Resurrection* (top image). Rich blue and red-orange hues stretch across the sky as the light of dawn emerges. Distant hills and trees remain submerged in darkness and yet a large hill in the foreground is brightly illuminated. The painting’s title gives a clue to the source of this mysterious light: as the sun rises, renewing the world each day, Jesus’ Resurrection symbolizes renewal of life for humanity.

The painting, made in 2010, is based on an Italian painting from the 15th century (photo below). Viewers of the original painting would have recognized this subject by its figures and symbols, elements that are absent from Mazza’s contemporary version. The risen Christ is seen floating above a sarcophagus as awakened soldiers watch with wonder. Surrounded by brilliant gold pigment, and bearing the marks of the Crucifixion, Jesus triumphantly holds a banner symbolizing victory over death and an olive branch of peace. Mazza’s creation emphasizes the majesty of light and landscape. Notably, she retained the light on the hillside, reflected from Jesus’ divine emanation, and the golden sparkling stars, reinforcing the regal nature of Christ and the heavens. In her innovative recreation, only the illuminated hillside serves as a signal toward the miraculous event, and a reminder of the lasting impact of Jesus’ Resurrection.

The Resurrection, 15th century (tempera on panel), Master of the Osservanza, (fl.c.1436)
The Resurrection, 15th century (tempera on panel), Master of the Osservanza, (fl.c.1436), Detroit Institute of Arts, USA Founders Society Purchase, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Ford II, Bridgeman Images

Why do artists emulate works from the past? There are many reasons for this frequent practice; artists learn from and are inspired by earlier artists’ work. Mazza is interested in exploring materials of the past to influence the present. She believes that what we seek to see in life is often hidden in plain sight, an idea uniquely presented in this luminous artwork. Her creation of a new work of art that springs forth from a Renaissance painting leaves a striking impression on our idea of Old Master paintings, their importance and use, and the meaning of the Resurrection today. Without the figures to focus on, we are left to ponder the lasting power and impact of Christ on the serene, glowing world before our eyes.

gold line

Author Joanna Reiling Lindell is the director and curator of the Thrivent Art Collection.

Share
*Jen Mazza (American, b. 1972), The Resurrection, 2010, Gouache, watercolor, and tempera on arches paper, Image size 5 ¾ x 7 ¼ inches, ©2010 Jen Mazza, courtesy the artist and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, Thrivent Collection of Religious Art
4.5.8.9
Get more insights like this in your inbox
You have been successfully subscribed to our newsletter.
An error has occurred, please try again.