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19 October 2012

The Raising of Assange from Ecuadorian Burial

"You are familiar, no doubt, with Sebastiano del Piombo's huge painting The Raising of Lazarus, which hangs in the National Gallery in London, having been purchased in the last century from the Angerstein collection. Against a background of water, arched bridges, and hot blue sky, a crowd of people -- presumably the neighbors -- cluster about the risen man. Lazarus has turned rather yellow in death, but he is a muscular, well-set-up type. His grave-clothes are draped like a towel over his head, and people lean towards him solicitiously, and seem to confer; what he most resembles is a boxer in his corner. The expressions of those around are puzzled, mildly censorious. Here -- in the very act of extricating his right leg from a knot of the shroud -- one feels his troubles are about to begin again. A woman -- Mary, or maybe Martha -- is whispering behind her hand. Christ points to the revenant, and holds up his other hand, fingers outstretched: so many rounds down, five to go." -- Hilary Mantel, Fludd, 1989, p. 3.