Yesterday, my husband and I visited Atlanta's High Museum. It was his birthday, and he especially wanted to see the The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army exhibit. That was grand. However, an added bonus was the Louvre Atlanta: The Louvre and the Masterpiece. This title is the third part in the third year of the Louvre Atlanta exhibit at the High (family name, so there is not a Low Museum). In the masterpiece discussion, it is described as a lost and found. It mostly likely had hung in a church for some two to three hundred years until someone moved it. Having been laid aside, wrapped in a cloth in the church for more than a hundred years, it was discovered obscured in dust and grime. Once it was cleaned and restored, it was recognized to be a lost masterpiece by Lorenzo Lotto. It belongs to the Louvre and hangs in the same gallery with the Mona Lisa when it is not touring.
I stood before this painting quite some time. I studied it closely and played the corresponding narrative for it twice. The image I am using here is from the official Louvre website.
Reflecting on the history of the painting reminded me that we often allow the perfect and beautiful and sacred aspects of our lives to become obscured with the dust and grime of the years. We may set them aside and even forget them. Easter is about renewing, refreshing, and reclaiming ourselves and all that is good about the human experience---about the profound and mystical meaning of Carrying the Cross.