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Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Mary Magdalene kneels before Christ and anoints his feet, wiping away the excess oil with her hair, a gesture of deference and devotion. The disciples—especially Judas Iscariot, Tissot notes, in a commentary based on John’s account—are indignant at the gesture’s expense, asking could not this costly ointment be sold and its profits given to the poor? However, Jesus defends Mary’s prescience: “She did it,” he tells them, “for my burial.” Object metadata can change over time,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Seeking solitude for prayer following the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus retreats to the peak of a mountain. Tissot’s commentary observes that such solitary moments precede many significant episodes in Jesus’ ministry, including the Ordaining of the Apostles, the Sermon of the Beatitudes, and the Transfiguration, noting Jesus’ preference for “lofty spots,” elevations near to God, for these meditative respites. In this dramatic image, Tissot sets Jesus against a night sky, his...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Paying his usual rigorous attention to researching the settings for his interpretation of the narrative, Tissot places the episode of Jesus’ birth in one of the caves in the mountains in and around Bethlehem, a departure from visual tradition, which often locates the Nativity in a stable. Unable to find rooms in the town, Mary and Joseph take shelter here. In his commentary, Tissot explains the presence of animals who gaze upon the newborn Jesus by noting that shepherds often used these caves...
Topics: art, European Art
Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus receives numerous requests for healings, creating a crush of supplicants. Eager to reach him, after he has retired to the privacy of a home, four men lower a paralytic through the roof into the welcoming arms of Jesus—a powerfully dramatic image. Tissot heightens the sense of the sick man’s helplessness with his flailing, outstretched arms, a counterpoint to Christ’s controlled gesture of acceptance. Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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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. Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
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Brooklyn Museum
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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As news of Jesus’ teachings and deeds spread, his followers grew in number. Without adequate provisions to feed them, Jesus gathers five loaves and two fishes from a young boy in this large company, and after giving thanks to God, distributes them, managing to feed all who are hungry. Tissot offers an expansive view of the scene, one so broad that it becomes difficult to distinguish Jesus himself, at the upper right. However, this compositional strategy emphasizes the magnitude of the miracle...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Brooklyn Museum
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For this scene, Tissot directly integrated one of the motifs from his extensive sketching campaigns in Palestine into a finished composition for the Gospel narrative. Here, a large boulder the artist had drawn by the Sea of Tiberias becomes the rock on which Jesus sits as he preaches to his followers. Such direct correlations between the sketched motif and the Gospel narrative evoke Tissot’s claim for what he termed hyperaesthesia —a combination of direct observation of his surroundings and...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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This painting illustrates a parable in which Jesus likens those who ignore his teachings to the blind leading the blind. Holding on to one another but without informed guidance, the blind are vulnerable to danger. In his commentary, Tissot asserts that during his stay in Jerusalem he observed the following practice: “In the streets of Jerusalem numbers of blind men may still sometimes be seen, walking one behind the other in files, and clinging to each other, under the leadership of one of...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Following Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the chief priests and scribes meet to discuss their response to the challenge of his increasing popularity: they resolve to find a way to destroy him. Once more, Tissot focuses on the costumes of the priests, with their elaborately woven and draped textiles (fringed with fur, in the case of the white-bearded priest at center), and the lavish building materials of the Temple complex, with its marble columns topped with carved capitals. The...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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While crossing the Sea of Galilee in a ship during the night, Jesus and his disciples are overtaken by a storm. Tissot omits any sign of landfall, heightening the sense of danger in the rough, stormy sea. Awakened by his followers, who fear for their lives, Jesus quiets the tempest with a dramatic and dynamic gesture and rebukes his companions for their lack of faith. Tissot’s commentary connects this shipboard miracle with the miraculous draught of fishes, noting: “It was in the same boat,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Drawing on a story from the apocryphal Protoevangelion of James, Tissot depicts the expectant mood in the Temple as eligible bachelors await the sign that will determine the identity of the Holy Virgin’s betrothed. In Tissot’s image, the high priest emerges from an inner sanctuary into a richly appointed area with patterned rugs and marble columns to give each man a staff. Ranging in age from fresh-faced youths to white-bearded old men, the suitors look expectantly at the priest as he...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Following his presentation to the crowds from the loggia, Jesus is taken from Pilate’s palace—at half past eleven in the morning, Tissot precisely notes—to the public square where he will be officially condemned to death. Made a figure of mockery, Jesus is forced to wear the crown of thorns as well as the short scarlet cloak and carries a reed, meant to evoke a royal scepter. Focusing on the injuries suffered by Jesus, Tissot also notes that, at every step, the woolen cloak would have...
Topics: art, European Art
Already weak from beatings and the labor of carrying his heavy cross, Jesus falls for a second time. A man named Simon of Cyrene, a resident of North Africa, is pressed into service to help with the burden. Taking him roughly by the shoulders, the guards urge Simon, clothed in a short blue tunic, to carry the long central beam, as Jesus lies motionless on the cobbled street. Following the procession, a boy carries the title that will be affixed to the Cross. Spelled out in Hebrew, Greek, and...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus further shows his acceptance of those rejected by society by inviting Matthew—a publican, or toll collector—into his ministry, as he passes his booth. Not only were these tax collectors considered unscrupulous, but they were also particularly loathed by devout Jews for their status as representatives of the ruling Romans. Tissot has included camels and the hint of a wide-arched gate to underscore Matthew’s location at a geographical (and perhaps, spiritual) crossroads, as well as...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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As earlier temptation episodes foretold, the devil left Jesus “for a season” but reappeared time and again to test him in the form of possessed outcasts. Here, in a barren landscape pocked with caves and tombs—a terrain familiar from Tissot’s sketches of the Valley of Hinnom—Jesus encounters two men afflicted with demons, while a herd of swine wanders on the horizon. Tissot notes that the Gentiles, sometimes in the employ of Jews, tended swine in these lands, despite Jewish tradition,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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In the most memorable, and even notorious, of Tissot’s images, Christ looks out at the crowd of spectators arrayed before him: Mary Magdalene, in the immediate foreground, with her long red tresses swirling down her back, kneels at his feet, which are clearly visible at the bottom center of the composition. Beyond her, the Virgin Mary clutches her breast, while John the Evangelist looks up with hands clasped. The artist here adopts the point of view of Christ himself. Few painters have...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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For his narrative of the life of Christ, Tissot created a “harmony” of the Gospels, combining the separate accounts of Jesus’ life attributed to the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four New Testament texts differ from one another in theological emphasis and tone. A harmony, a literary form traced to the second-century Christian writer Tatian, seeks to reconcile the differences among the four Gospels and to piece together one continuous chronology of Jesus’ life, verse by...
Topics: art, European Art
Although Matthew, Mark, and Luke all describe Christ’s temptations by Satan, Tissot cites only the version given by Luke. For reasons that remain unclear, he changes the order of the tests given by Luke. In Tissot’s first image, Satan abducts Jesus and soars to a precipitous height—emphasized by the low, bright horizon line in the distance. The shadowy darkness of the claw-toed devil contrasts with Jesus’ pristine white cloak. From their great height, Satan tempts Jesus with the many...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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In the third temptation, the devil carries a passive Jesus up to a high pinnacle of the Temple, where he is challenged to jump and prove his protection by God’s angels. However, Jesus steadfastly retains his faith and refuses to test God. This image demonstrates bravura watercolor technique, contrasting the transparency of the devil’s horned, clawed, and winged body with the solid masonry of the Temple. Moreover, as a matter of storytelling skill, note that this bird’s-eye view looks down...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Mary Magdalene, meeting the resurrected Christ, falls to the ground “thinking to resume her old place at the feet of Jesus and to embrace them,” as Tissot notes. While Christ had encouraged the Magdalene’s ministrations in an earlier scene, The Ointment of the Magdalene , now he counsels caution, warning, “Touch me not”; the time for such familiarity has passed. The Magdalene’s prostrate body and full, flowing hair provide a clear visual cross-reference, effectively linking the two...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
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Brooklyn Museum
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Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Standing on a raised platform before the Court of the Gentiles outside the Temple, Jesus first considers asking God to save him from his impending sacrifice; but then, recognizing its necessity in the divine plan, he instead glorifies God’s name. The Lord responds from the heavens: some in the crowd hear thunder, others the voice of an angel. Jesus acknowledges his forthcoming death to those gathered. With this image, Tissot again blends his interest in historical accuracy with a sense of...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple, among them moneychangers as well as those who sell animals for sacrifice and food for worshippers. He scatters their goods—in a dramatic flurry of flapping doves’ wings—as he wields a whip devised from his own belt, Tissot notes in his text. (This last detail comes from the account in John, though Tissot chose not to cite those verses in his Bible.) The sheer bulk of merchants with their wares and animals had grown so large, Tissot explains,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus’ conversations with members of his community escalate and become violent: when he claims to know Abraham, the Old Testament patriarch, devout Jews are skeptical, given his youth. Alluding to his own transcendence as the Son of God, he replies: “Before Abraham was, I am.” At this response, the people attack Jesus with stones, gathering together as an angry mob. Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus now has a significant following, demonstrated visually by the crowd stretching along narrow paths from the distant shores of a lake all the way to the peak of the mountain; he preaches with hands upraised to a group of men, women, and children. In the episode illustrated here, often called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus enunciates many of the key moral and ethical tenets of his ministry. In the beatitudes, he identifies the blessed among the community— including the meek, the righteous,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Brooklyn Museum
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Convicted of blasphemy by the high priests—a crime punishable by death—Jesus is led away, as the crowd of witnesses pulls his hair, scratches his face, and rains both insults and blows on his body in what Tissot describes as a “diabolical fury.” Having blindfolded Jesus, his tormentors now mock his status as a prophet by demanding that he divine which among them has hit him. Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Complementing the narrative of the venerations by the humble shepherds, the Magi, guided by a moving star, traveled separately from their individual lands in the east in search of the newborn Jesus. Tissot depicts the Magi at the moment when their retinues meet in the vast, arid landscape of the volcanic hills on the shores of the Dead Sea between Jericho, the Kedron Valley, and Jerusalem. In his commentary, the artist notes that their flowing saffron robes—a luxurious counterpoint to the...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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As Christ and the thieves condemned to die along with him hang on their crosses, one mockingly demands that Jesus, as the Christ, relieve them of their sufferings. The other criminal reminds his fellow of the justness of their punishments, in contrast to the innocence of Jesus. “Touched,” Tissot writes, “by the divine gentleness of the crucified Saviour,” the penitent thief then asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom; Jesus replies that today the thief will be with...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Although this episode cannot be found in the Gospel accounts, Tissot presents a scene traditionally included as one of the Stations of the Cross, a series of images, venerated chiefly by Catholics, that trace the events of Jesus’ final hours. At the fourth station, he meets his mother, Mary, after he falls while carrying his cross to Calvary. Her arms extended toward her son, Mary rushes to his side, accompanied by John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene. Her compassion stands in marked...
Topics: art, European Art