Description of this painting
Giovanni Bellini's depiction of the Transfiguration of Christ is somewhat controversial. The mountain where Jesus brought Peter, John, and James is shown as a slight rise on the ground.
Originally, the theme of the painting was the transfiguration, as related in the scriptures. Christ, after being secluded with three disciples, changed his appearance and showed himself to them with an extraordinary splendor of his person and an amazing whiteness of his clothes. This is undoubtedly a subject extremely rich in symbols and spiritual concepts, which is in fact considered the most important representation of sacred art.
The mountain that usually illustrates a divine place of seclusion is reduced to a common area inhabited by people. In Giovanni's painting, a man is seen going about his daily routine of escorting cattle off grazing land. There are buildings that can be seen all around and this dilutes the importance of the mountain from the original narrative of the transfiguration.
The event is no longer supernatural and Mount Tabor is reduced to a slight rise.
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