WAG 2853


This painting is based on a drawing by Michelangelo entitled ‘Silentium’ (Latin for ‘Silence’). The pose of the sleeping Christ echos images of his death. After his crucifixion his body will once again be laid across his mother’s knees. The hourglass beneath his feet acts as a reminder of his mortality. Lavinia Fontana is considered one of the first professional woman artists. This is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool’s economic development grew directly from Britain’s involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Caribbean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city.