Practical religion: the resurrection of Lazarus showing Mount Martha, 1969

Record number
cm001019
Title
Practical religion: the resurrection of Lazarus showing Mount Martha
Date
1969 - 1970
Medium
synthetic polymer paint
Support
unstretched canvas
Dimensions
2075 x 8070 mm
Inscriptions
VICTORY OVER DEATH. COLIN McCAHON / DEC 69 / FEB '70 (brushpoint, t.r.)
Credit line
Purchased 1985 with New Zealand Lottery Board funds and assistance from the Molly Morpeth Canaday Fund
Accession number
1985-0022-1
Extended inscriptions
JESUS WITHDREW AGAIN ACROSS THE JORDAN,
TO THE PLACE WHERE JOHN HAD BEEN BAPTISING / EARLIER.
THERE HE STAYED, WHILE CROWDS
CAME TO HIM. THEY SAID, 'JOHN -
JOHN GAVE US NO MIRACULOUS SIGN, BUT ALL THAT HE SAID ABOUT THIS MAN WAS TRUE.'
MANY CAME TO BELIEVE IN HIM

THERE WAS A MAN NAMED LAZARUS
WHO HAD FALLEN ILL.
HIS SISTERS SENT A MESSAGE TO JESUS: 'SIR, YOU SHOUD [sic] KNOW
THAT YOUR FRIEND
LIES ILL.'

WHEN JESUS HEARD THIS HE SAID,
'THIS SICKNESS WILL NOT END IN DEATH, IT HAS COME FOR THE GLORY
OF GOD.'
And therefore, he waited for two days in the place where he was.
After this he said to his disciples, 'LET US GO BACK TO JUDAEA'

'LET US GO
BACK TO
JUDAEA.' - are you going there again?
'Rabbi', his
disciples said,
'it is not long since
the people there
were wanting to stone you

JESUS REPLIED
'Are there not
twelve hours
of daylight?
Anyone can walk
in daytime without stumbling because he sees the light of this world. But if he walks after nightfall he stumbles, because the light
fails him.'

'OUR FRIEND LAZARUS / HAS FALLEN ASLEEP, BUT / I SHALL GO AND WAKE HIM

'MASTER IF HE HAS FALLEN ASLEEP HE
WILL RECOVER.'

'LAZARUS IS DEAD.
I AM GLAD NOT TO HAVE BEEN THERE; IT WILL BE FOR YOUR GOOD AND FOR THE GOOD OF YOUR FAITH. BUT LET US GO TO HIM.'

MARTHA WENT TO MEET JESUS,
"IF YOU HAD BEEN HERE, SIR,
MY BROTHER WOULD NOT HAVE DIED. EVEN NOW I KNOW THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK OF
GOD, GOD WILL GRANT YOU
I KNOW THAT
HE WILL RISE AGAIN;
AT THE RESURRECTION ON THE
LAST DAY."

DO YOU
BELIEVE THIS?

'The master is here, he is
asking for you' so Mary
came to the place where
Jesus was. 'O Sir, if you had
been here my brother would not have died.'

(COULD NOT THIS MAN WHO HAD OPENED THE BLIND MAN'S EYES HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO HAVE KEPT LAZARUS FROM DYING?)

JESUS SAID
I AM THE RESURRECTION
AND I AM LIFE.
IF A MAN HAS FAITH IN ME,
EVEN THOUGH HE DIE, HE SHALL
COME TO LIFE; AND NO ONE
WHO IS ALIVE AND HAS FAITH SHALL EVER DIE

Jesus went over to the tomb.
'Take away the stone', Jesus said,
'Did I not tell you that if you have faith you will see the glory of GOD

'LAZARUS COME FORTH: The dead man came out Jesus said, 'LOOSE HIM, LET HIM GO'
History
1970 Auckland: Colin McCahon: Recent Paintings: Victory Over Death, or, Practical Religion, Barry Lett Galleries, 2-15 March 1970, cat. no. 3 (as Victory over death).
1972 Auckland: Colin McCahon/a survey exhibition, Auckland City Art Gallery, 7 March-21 April 1972, cat. no. 68.
1972 Christchurch: Colin McCahon paintings, CSA Gallery, 14 October-3 November 1972.
1980 Lower Hutt: Colin McCahon, Dowse Art Gallery, October 1980, cat. no. 3.
1984 Sydney: Colin McCahon: I will need words (Satellite exhibition of the Biennale of Sydney), Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, University of Sydney, 11 April-17 June 1984, cat. no 13.
1988 Auckland: Colin McCahon: Gates and Journeys, Auckland City Art Gallery, 11 November 1988-26 February 1989, cat. no. V1.
1992 Sydney: Headlands: Thinking through New Zealand art, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1 April-28 June 1992.
2002 Amsterdam: Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith, Stedelijk Museum, 30 August-10 November 2002.
Notes
The text is John 11:21-44, slightly amended, from the New English Bible.
The painting was originally titled Victory over death, although this was abandoned following its first exhibition.