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Brooklyn Museum
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For the Passover feast, the apostles (dressed in traveling clothes, like the Jews of the Old Testament book of Exodus, Tissot explains) meet in a room decorated with garlands. During the meal, Jesus reveals that he will be betrayed by one of his disciples; many of them worriedly ask, “Is it I?” In this image, Jesus hands the sop, or dipped bread, to Judas Iscariot, identifying him as the traitor. Jesus later dismisses him from the company, urging him to be quick about his business. Here,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Christ appears to his followers at the cenacle, the upper room where they had shared the Last Supper. Exposing his glowing wounds, Jesus reveals himself to them—to their delight and wonder—while the servants who tend the disciples peer through the curtains in astonishment. 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
Topics: Europe, ca. 1497, Italy, Gold, Paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Metal, Oil and gold on wood,...
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
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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While Jesus retreats to the mountain to pray, his disciples travel ahead of him, sailing once more across stormy waters. Seeking to calm the frightened apostles, Jesus walks across the sea, but this further terrifies them as they momentarily believe him to be a ghost. Tissot attempts to explain the fears of the disciples, in a commentary that melds his interests in scientific observation and in legend: noting the early hour designated by the Gospel account—3 a.m.—and the weather conditions,...
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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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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Warned of impending danger in a dream, Joseph escaped Bethlehem and fled with his family to Egypt, evading Herod’s murderous plan. Carrying Jesus in her arms, Mary resumes the chores of daily life—here, fetching water—against the backdrop of the Egyptian landscape, distinguished by the palm trees and the island of Rhodes, which Tissot had sketched on one of his research trips to the Middle East in the late 1880s. Mindful of connecting the narratives of the Old and New Testaments, Tissot...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus begins his ministry to the people by calling disciples, or apostles, those who will help him spread his teachings. Peter and Andrew, fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, heed his call at once, leaving behind their nets. Their immediate acceptance of his call to a new life sets the tone for discipleship. Intent on giving a wealth of practical detail, Tissot in his commentary on this image describes the method of fishing with nets in the shallows near the shoreline, a practice that would have...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Following reports of Jesus’ early miraculous deeds, including healing the sick and exorcising demons, others of the afflicted soon seek his help. Borne on makeshift litters or kneeling in the streets outside the home of Peter, the supplicants eagerly reach out to be touched by Jesus. In this image, the winding, narrow alleys of an ancient city intensify the impression of jostling crowds of followers. Tissot’s commentary takes particular note of the use of arches in the construction of...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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With the news of the death of Herod, the Holy Family returned from Egypt, settling in Nazareth and spending each Passover in Jerusalem. After one trip, Mary and Joseph belatedly notice that Jesus—now twelve years old—has been left behind in Jerusalem. Retracing their steps, they find him at the Temple, discoursing freely with the doctors, whom Tissot describes as “specialists in every branch of science, each one famed for his skill in one or other branch of knowledge.” The learned men...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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This scene depicts a wedding at Cana, where Jesus performs his first miracle before his disciples and his mother, Mary. Although this feast was amply supplied with water—a necessity for the frequent purifications demanded by Jewish ritual, Tissot notes— the celebration had run out of wine, as Mary points out to her son. Jesus then turns jars of water into wine, much to the astonishment of his host and fellow guests, who curiously peer over the table to look into the vessels. Though already...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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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
Brooklyn Museum
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Although Tissot gave exacting attention to archaeological detail, providing what he intended as historically accurate backdrops for the narrative of Christ’s life, he also pursued the mystical. At the pool known as the Piscina Probatica, the infirm gather around the edge of the water in the hope of being healed. According to John, an angel stirs the pool, activating its curative powers; the next person to step into the water would be delivered from affliction. Tissot’s image features two...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Forty days after the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family travels to Jerusalem to initiate the child into the service of God at the Temple and to offer a modest sacrifice: the caged pigeons or turtledoves held here by Joseph. Taking the infant into his arms, the aged priest Simeon acknowledges the child as the Christ, or Messiah. Throughout his commentaries, Tissot refers to both historical and modern sources to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of the Temple precinct in ancient Jerusalem. 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
by James Tissot
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To confirm that Christ was dead, one of the Roman centurions pierced his side with a spear, releasing a flow of blood and water from the body. Calling on the Fathers of the Church, Tissot sees in this incident “the image of many very touching mysteries.” Most notably, he alludes to the sacramental significance of water and blood, respectively, in the Christian rites of Baptism and the Eucharist. 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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Although the Gospels are silent on the years between Christ’s childhood and his ministry—providing no specific indication of his training or education—Tissot adheres to tradition and depicts Jesus as a faithful son to his earthly father, assisting Joseph with the work of the carpentry shop. In his commentary, Tissot spurned apocryphal legends of wondrous doings by the Christ Child, insisting that such deeds would have aroused attention, whether awe or suspicion, and would have been...
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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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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When warned by Jesus that he would deny him three times before the cock crowed—before the dawn—Peter vehemently objected, asserting his fidelity and pledging to die alongside Jesus. However, the prophecy is realized. Peter first denies his status as a disciple to the maidservant who points an accusatory finger at him while guarding the door to the chief priest’s chamber. Later, admitted to the priest’s rooms, where he warms himself by the fire, Peter again rejects the association when...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Brooklyn Museum
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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
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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With the parable depicted here, Jesus preaches compassion, telling of a traveler waylaid by robbers in the treacherous, rocky territory between Jerusalem and Jericho. Though clearly in need of aid, the victim was ignored by a priest and a Levite—both devout men—but aided by a Samaritan, from an ethnic group ordinarily considered the enemies of the Jews. 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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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Apart from Jesus, Mary Magdalene is the only individual in Tissot’s series accorded more than one study, or portrait—an exception that announces her importance, not only to the narrative itself but also to the artist. As scholars have suggested, Tissot appears to have modeled the Magdalene’s features after his late mistress, Mrs. Kathleen Newton, who had died of tuberculosis in 1882. Like many in the nineteenth century, the painter was particularly interested in the occult, and he had...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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As Christ ascends to heaven, several witnesses shade their eyes from the blinding view overhead. According to Tissot, the Ascension completes the “original idea of Creation,” which was “redemption through Christ”; now humanity, too, is permitted to share in divine glory. “The cloud which ‘received Christ from sight’ is like the curtain which falls at the close of a drama,” he comments. In the foreground of the image, Christ’s two footprints remain pressed into the earth as...
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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Following the scourging, or flagellation, the Roman soldiers clothe Christ in a scarlet cloak, thus mocking his claims to royalty. Tissot reminds his readers of the color’s associations in Jewish tradition, noting that wearing this color marks Jesus as the bearer of humanity’s sins. Tissot discusses in great detail the construction of the crown of thorns shown here, the base of which, he claims, was formed by a band of rushes and could still be seen at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Jesus appears with his hands folded over his heart, his gaze direct, his expression composed. As Moses commanded in the Old Testament books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, Jesus wears a prayer shawl as a sign of his adherence to the rituals of Judaism. Tissot derived this image from a larger watercolor in the series in which Jesus gives his last discourse to his disciples after the departure of Judas. He urges them to love one another as he has loved them. Object metadata can change over time,...
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
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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.
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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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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Brooklyn Museum
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As Jesus continues on his route to Calvary, a woman now known as Saint Veronica approaches to offer momentary respite. Kneeling before Jesus, she gives him linen to wipe his face of the sweat and blood from his exertions and wounds. Taking the cloth in both hands, he presses it to his face, leaving a likeness of his features, which Veronica cherished as a memorial to him. In his commentary, Tissot notes that this relic was later taken to Rome for safekeeping by the Church. Object metadata can...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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While the scenes of the Crucifixion examine the precise mechanics of the execution, lending a credible veracity to the ancient events, this image takes a more mystical or fantastical approach. Immediately after the death of Jesus, Matthew writes, tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy persons who had died came back to life, went into the city, and showed themselves to the people. Tissot paints the risen dead as spectral forms, flying through Jerusalem and the Temple precinct, scattering...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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In Luke’s telling, Jesus returns to Nazareth, the town of his childhood, and goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Reading a passage from Isaiah, he declares himself the fulfillment of the prophet’s words, as the means of redemption and healing for the marginalized, afflicted, and oppressed. Those gathered in the synagogue react with wonder to find the prophecy realized in one of their own—“Joseph’s son,” as the group calls him. However, Jesus warns that his path promises hardship,...
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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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Tissot opens the section on Jesus’ ministry by introducing John the Baptist, who prophesied his coming, urged repentance, and practiced the cleansing rite of baptism. Calling out from the vast, rugged deserts of Judaea, the Baptist here throws his arms up in the air. In his commentary, Tissot notes the resounding echo effect in the rocky valleys the Baptist inhabited, heightening his emphatic call to “make straight the way of the Lord.” The artist’s commentaries, which at times read...
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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As Jesus expires on the cross, he utters the words “It is finished.” In this image, the spirits of the Old Testament prophets hover around the transverse bar of his crucifix, welcoming him into their company. Within the six-pointed Star of David, Tissot has painted the Hebrew word for Lord, further underscoring Christ’s role in the divine plan. Asserting that their “prophecies are accomplished,” the artist shows the hovering prophets triumphantly holding scriptural scrolls above their...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Following the Last Supper, Jesus and the apostles retreat to Gethsemane (an olive grove) on the Mount of Olives. While his disciples rest, Christ prays alone, asking God if it is possible to let his sufferings pass him by, yet reaffirming his commitment to submit to God’s will. Luke writes that an angel comes to strengthen him, though in his anguish Jesus sweats blood, a graphic detail that, unusually, Tissot omits. While Luke’s account says that Christ receives comfort from the angel,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Although Herod had imprisoned John the Baptist for speaking against his marriage to Herodias, the ruler admired the Baptist as a wise and righteous man. On the occasion of Herod’s birthday, Salome, the daughter of Herodias, dances before the guests, pleasing the host so much that he promises her anything she wants. Tissot notes that he found inspiration for his image of Salome’s acrobatic dance in ancient reliefs from sources as diverse as Egypt, India, and Persia as well as the reliefs of...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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This episode reveals Jesus’ concern for the outcasts of society: in this case, those afflicted with leprosy, a chronic disease. The leper kneels in the center foreground of the image—dramatically making his plea to Jesus with his bandaged arms upraised. Referring to ancient laws regarding the lepers, Tissot writes that the man occupies the center of the road to permit the healthy to pass with ease on either side of the path. In the Gospel text, Jesus later urges the healed man to keep quiet...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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From Solomon’s Porch in the Temple complex, Jesus berates a large crowd of the devout for the killing of the prophets and predicts their rejection of him. Tissot paints Christ with his back turned to the viewer, an isolated figure. 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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Brought before a tribunal presided over by the chief priest Caiaphas, Jesus, bound in chains but standing with dignified calm, hears many give testimony against him, though none can agree on a charge or crime, much to the frustration of the priests. Tissot visually conveys the accumulation of these accusations by filling the gallery at left with a frenzied crowd, each person raising his hand to be heard by the judges, who occupy an unseen but elevated dais at the top of the stairs to the right....
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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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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Topics: art, European Art