When Jesus dines in the house of one of the Pharisees, he does not wash his hands though Jewish ritual demanded it. When reproached by his host, Jesus, in turn, indicts the Pharisees for their hypocrisy: their emphasis on the appearance of righteousness through ceremony rather than true belief. In Tissot’s painting, Jesus condemns this group—much to their dismay and protest—with a dynamic gesture.
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James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Curses Against the Pharisees (Imprécations contre les pharisiens), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. (16.2 x 23.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.142
Purchased by public subscription
Image: 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. (16.2 x 23.8 cm); Sheet: 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. (16.2 x 23.8 cm); Frame: 16 7/8 x 22 7/8 x 1 1/2 in. (42.9 x 58.1 x 3.8 cm)