In Dostojevski se boek, Die Idioot, beskryf een van die karakters die beroemde uitbeelding van Christus in die graf deur Holbein (tans in Basel se kunsmuseum).
Dostojevsky het die skildery self gaan kyk, vertel sy vrou later, en het 'n vreemde ervaring van skok gehad terwyl hy daarna gekyk het.
Dit was vir mense van alle tye ‘n ontstellende uitbeelding van totale, brutale lyding. Selfs vandag nog vind mense die uitbeelding erg.
In Dostojevsky se boek is daar dieselfde skok-reaksie. Een van die karakters roep uit: “Iemand kan sy geloof verloor deur net na hierdie skildery te kyk.”
Holbein, en ook Dostojevski, wou die vriendelike, netjiese uitbeelding van Jesus in die ortodokse Christendom van sy tyd, hartgrondiglik bevraagteken. ‘n Mens kan, in ‘n enkele sin, die lyding van Christus nie onderskat nie.
Hier volg uittreksels uit die boek oor die beskrywing van die skildery deur Ippolit:
I believe that painters are usually in the habit of depicting Christ, whether on the cross or taken from the cross, as still retaining a shade of extraordinary beauty on his face; that beauty they strive to preserve even in his moments of greatest agony. In Rogozhin's picture there was no trace of beauty. It was a faithful representation of the dead body of a man who has undergone unbearable torments before the crucifixion, been wounded, tortured, beaten by the guards, beaten by the people, when he carried the cross and fell under its weight, and, at last, has suffered the agony of crucifixion, lasting for six hours (according to my calculation, at least) . . . I know that the Christian Church laid it down in the first few centuries of its existence that Christ really did suffer and that the Passion was not symbolical. His body on the cross was therefore fully and entirely subject to the laws of nature. In the picture the face is terribly smashed with blows, swollen, covered with terrible, swollen, and bloodstained bruises, the eyes open and squinting; the large, open whites of the eyes have a sort of dead and glassy glint. His body on the cross was therefore fully and entirely subject to the laws of nature.
Looking at that picture, you get the impression of nature as some enormous, implacable, and dumb beast, or, to put it more correctly, much more correctly, though it may seem strange, as some huge engine of the latest design, which has senselessly seized, cut to pieces, and swallowed up–impassively and unfeelingly–a great and priceless Being, a Being worth the whole of nature and all its laws, worth the entire earth, which was perhaps created solely for the coming of that Being! The picture seems to give expression to the idea of a dark, insolent, and senselessly eternal power, to which everything is subordinated, and this idea is suggested to you unconsciously. The people surrounding the dead man, none of whom is shown in the picture, must have been overwhelmed by a feeling of terrible anguish and dismay on that evening which had shattered all their hopes and almost all their beliefs at one fell blow. They must have parted in a state of the most dreadful terror, though each of them carried away within him a mighty thought which could never be wrested from him. And if, on the eve of the crucifixion, the Master could have seen what He would look like when taken from the cross, would he have mounted the cross and died as he did?”
Wat ‘n slotvraag van Dostojevski!
Ek wil in die lydenstyd hieroor verder dink.