Girl Sending a Text

The images in this post are both taken from the National Gallery website,

The Entombment.

In room 20 of the National Gallery in London there is a painting called The Entombment. It’s by Michelangelo and has been dated to 1500 or 1501. The painting is unfinished. From the title, anyone with elementary biblical knowledge will rightly conclude that the subject of the painting is Jesus Christ and that it depicts his body being moved to his tomb.

It’s not the only painting in the room. There are six others. Room 20 is currently closed but if I remember rightly, I was most impressed by another Michelangelo, the small but beautiful Madonna of the Pinks. That painting is also 500 years old but seems as bright as if it was painted yesterday. Some have suggested that it’s a forgery but even if it is, it’s pretty good. You can see a picture of it below:

The Madonna of the Pinks

But back to The Entombment. I was in the National Gallery several years ago and was visiting with my parents. I’d been there several times before but it was my parents’ first visit. For reasons I can’t quite recall we found ourselves in room 20.

And my dad, looking at The Entombment, made an observation. He said the young woman in the bottom left-hand part of the painting looks like she is sending a text message.

Have a look at the picture again. He’s right!

I believe the young woman is meant to be Mary Magdalene. And while I don’t mean to be disrespectful, ever since I’ve thought of this painting as “Girl Sending a Text.”

The Melancholy Roman