By: Ron DiCianni
The Resurrection is a 12’ x 40’ mural, oil on canvas. It is a depiction of the moment of Jesus emerging from the tomb, with waiting angels, fainted roman guards, and a crowd of Biblical notables excitedly waiting for His exit. They include, on right of Christ, Moses, David, Isaiah & Abraham. On the left of Christ are, Elijah, Noah, Esther, John the Baptist & Daniel. These are part of the ones referred to in Hebrews 12:1 as “the great cloud of witnesses.” On the upper right of the painting is the remnants of the place Jesus was earlier crucified, namely Mt. Calvary, also known as Golgotha, the place of the skull.
This mural was commissioned by the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, TX., after experiencing a tragic fire which culminated in nearly a total loss to the museum’s contents, among which was a mural that was well known for them as a “pilgrimage piece” one that many came from all over the world to see. After deciding to rebuild, the museum entered in negotiations with me to execute a new mural on the topic of The Resurrection of Christ. Once a contract was signed, I prayed for direction, and sketched out two ideas based on the idea. After selecting their preference, which also was mine, I began working on the final mural.
Because of the mural’s large size, I needed to relocate my studio to a warehouse large enough to accommodate a one-piece custom made canvas 12’ x 40’. I also needed to invest in a mechanical scissor lift which would allow me to elevate myself high enough to paint all across the canvas. My process in preparing for all of my paintings consist of the search & selecting of models, custom made costumes, professionally sculpted props, such as the tomb made by Warner Bros. for me, and investing in premier paints and materials that would exceed all museum standards. My paints are Old Holland, made by the same factory in Holland that made paints for many of the legendary painters such as Johann Vermeer, & many others, centuries ago. Once all this was in place I assembled the entire group of models and props at a professional photographers studio for a massive photo shoot which resulted in over a thousand photographs for me to refer to as I painted. I was fortunate to have had the support of many fine world renowned painters to pose for me, such as Morgan Weistling, (David) Thomas Blackshear, (Abraham), Chris Hopkins (John the Baptist) & Michael Dudash (Isaiah).
It seems that over the centuries every artist longed to paint a definitive scene that would stand the test of time. For Michaelangelo, it was the “Creation of Adam” which he did for the Sistine Chapel. For Rembrandt, it was the scene of “The Prodigal Son.” For me, it is “The Resurrection”, as this one act of history separates Christianity from every other religion, philosophy and dogma. It authenticates The Nativity, The Crucifixion of Christ, and legitimizes every word Jesus said concerning Himself and His relationship to God. Many may ignore the Resurrection at their peril, but none can deny it as it is historically proven beyond doubt. My hope is that as this mural is installed, many will be confronted with the scene of “The Resurrection” and make the decision that He is worthy of being called their Lord and Savior.
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