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Brooklyn Museum
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The poet, printmaker, and painter William Blake combined his literary and graphic skills in four provocative and disturbing images devoted to the Great Red Dragon. For this series—produced for his most faithful patron Thomas Butts, a government clerk—Blake drew on chapters 12 and 13 of the Book of Revelations, an apocalyptic text akin to the artist's own prophetic writings. In this narrative the Dragon, identified with Satan, schemes to seize the soon-to-be born Redeemer from his mother....
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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eye 5,096
favorite 26
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A lively tradition of provincial Mexican religious art has existed from the Spanish colonial period through the present day. The subject of this devotional image, rendered in the popular medium of painted tin, also appeared in more formal colonial Mexican altar paintings. Perched on the tips of the fingers of a detached hand, Christ appears flanked by his parents and his grandparents, Anna and Joachim. The symbol of the hand, deriving from the European cult of Saint Anne, also bears the wound...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Albert Bierstadt
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eye 2,643
favorite 11
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In 1863, Albert Bierstadt made an arduous expedition to Colorado in order to gather studies of the region for this monumental painting, executed three years later in his New York studio. For the final canvas, he exercised artistic license—rearranging some landmarks and exaggerating the scale of others—to maximize the visual interest of this Rocky Mountain landscape. The picture toured the country on a yearlong exhibition and thrilled audiences with its dual effects of sublime grandeur and...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Charles Willson Peale
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eye 2,541
favorite 3
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John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, commissioned this portrait of George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in order to flatter and reward him for liberating Boston (visible in the background) from the British in March 1776. Hancock wrote to Washington, "I beg, Sir, you will be pleased to accept my heartfelt thanks for the attention you have showed to my property in that town." Washington reluctantly accepted Hancock's invitation to sit for the...
Topics: art, American 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 William Bouguereau
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eye 2,092
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An academic painter who had achieved great success in the Paris Salon with mythological, historical, and religious subjects, Bouguereau later turned to genre scenes such as this image of a young woman caring for her younger brother. Although the figures are defined as siblings in the title, Bouguereau evokes the Madonna and Child with a tender pose—much like that seen in the altarpieces on the opposite wall—and the Catholic rosary beads in the child’s hand. Moreover, scholars have linked...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Gilbert Stuart
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Gilbert Stuart portrayed George Washington several times in this stately, full-length portrait format known as the Grand Manner, initially reserved for royalty. In this case, he used European models for the setting and figure, and then adapted the iconography for an American subject. Standing in the classical pose of an orator (with arm extended), Washington appears in formal civilian clothing, but holds a sword that recalls his military achievements and suggests the might of his presidency....
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Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Edward Hicks
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eye 2,063
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From about 1820, the self-taught artist and Quaker preacher Edward Hicks painted approximately sixty versions of The Peaceable Kingdom in an effort to reconcile his artistic vocation with his ardent faith. The subject is based on verses from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah that describe an Edenic world in which predatory animals (a leopard, lion, and bear) coexist in harmony with meeker creatures (a lamb, kid, and calf) and children. In the background, the earthly realization of this prophecy...
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Topics: art, American 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 Rudolph Cronau
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On special assignment for a German newspaper, Rudolph Cronau came to America to document its cities, frontier lands, and Native American populations for curious European audiences. His training at the Düsseldorf art academy, which emphasized careful draftsmanship, is clearly evident in this romanticized vista of Brooklyn’s famous Green-Wood Cemetery at sunset. Conceived in tones of black and white for reproduction, this watercolor features the Gothic-style entrance arch at center, the...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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eye 1,560
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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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eye 1,537
favorite 7
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Throughout the embattled environment of the colonial Americas—above and below the equator—portraits served as potent symbols of political and social power. The Brooklyn Museum's strong holdings of Spanish colonial art afford an unusual opportunity to study American colonial portraiture on the broadest possible level. Portraits of the historical kings of the Inca dynasty of Peru—including this eighteenth-century example—were a type that originated in the context of the vying powers of...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
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eye 1,326
favorite 16
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The town of Pomata, situated above Lake Titicaca in the highlands of Peru, was once a popular Christian pilgrimage shrine. In this painting, Our Lady of Pomata is depicted as a statue--a carved figure crowned and dressed in lavish garments and adorned with precious materials--that stood on the side altar of the parish church. This type of iconic image, found throughout Latin America, is known as a statue painting. A rosary encircles the hands of the Virgin, who holds a tiny doll-like Child...
Topics: art, American 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
by Lilly Martin Spencer
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eye 1,287
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Standing amidst a bountiful harvest of fruits in a well-appointed bourgeois interior, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen interloper (placed in the position of the viewer) in a playful flirtation. As the title implies, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses from the spoon in her hand. Lilly Martin Spencer won popular acclaim in the mid-nineteenth century with anecdotal kitchen scenes such as this one, commissioned by the...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Asher B. Durand
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This quiet, enclosed landscape subject, very likely set in the Catskills or Adirondacks, represents the direction in which Asher B. Durand had moved American landscape art. After devoting his attention to expansive views that often included historical or moralizing narratives, by the 1850s he began to record in fine detail more intimate settings in which there was no palpable human presence. This very contained composition, although completed in the studio, is close in spirit to the highly...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Mary Cassatt
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Mary Cassatt, who settled in Paris in 1874, was the only American to be invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists. She met Edgar Degas in 1877, and although she was not officially his student, his art had a lasting effect on the development of her own. His influence may be felt in the radical angles and eccentric composition of Mother and Child , a painting that also employs the mirror motif often found in the art of Edouard Manet, whose work Cassatt also admired. Her appreciation of...
Topics: art, American 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 Jules Breton
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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 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
by James Tissot
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With this scene, Tissot continues to explore Mary’s role in the “Divine plan,” as the artist called the biblical narrative. Mary prays or “sings” her praise of God for giving her a part to play in humankind’s redemption. While The Annunciation underscored the Virgin’s humble station and modesty, here she stands with head and hands raised to the sky as she utters what Tissot characterizes as a “quiet, reverent, whispered expression of a spirit moved to its very depths.” Her...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Circle of Diego Quispe Tito
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eye 915
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Harry C. Edwards
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In this studio portrait, the Brooklyn artist Harry Edwards painted the Native American Handsome Morning, wearing a fringed shift with painted emblems, a bead-and-quill necklace, beaded moccasins, and a ceremonial blanket of fur-lined buffalo hide painted with abstract motifs (a speciality of Dakota women). Edward's identification of his sitter as a Dakota, or a Sioux, is meaningful because the Sioux retained perhaps the most lasting hold on white imaginations owing to the charismatic Ghost...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Workshop of Bernardino Luini
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The altarpiece of which this is a direct replica was commissioned from Luini in 1523 for the church of San Magno in the Northern Italian town of Legnano. Luini’s debt to his contemporary Leonardo da Vinci can be seen in the soft transitions in the modeling of the faces of the Madonna and Child, and in the similar sweetness of the angels’ expressions. The artistic mastery is evident not only in the rendering of human form, but also in the bravura artistry of the bubble above the Child’s...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by William Holbrook Beard
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eye 819
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
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Betrothed but still unmarried, Mary and Joseph do not yet live together, making the news of her unexpected pregnancy a cause of deep concern for Joseph. Ordinarily industrious, as the curled wood shavings around his feet attest, the carpenter hunches over his bench, lost in thought and unable to work. In the hope of catching a glimpse of Mary, he gazes out at the street as women pass carrying jars filled with the day’s water. Although traditional representations of Joseph show a man of...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Elihu Vedder
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In this brooding Symbolist subject titled Soul in Bondage , the American expatriate Elihu Vedder brought together his key interests in idealized human form, abstracted design, and the themes of internal spiritual conflict. Profoundly inspired by the writer Edward Fitzgerald's translation of mystical Persian verse in the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Vedder illustrated a lush 1884 edition), he created numerous subjects representing the individual bound by the dilemma of choice between good and...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
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By the 1840s, when he painted this view, Thomas Cole was at the fore of a new movement in American landscape painting that would later be known as the "Hudson River School." Cole and his circle produced expansive and relatively detailed views of the American Northeast, focusing on sights like this one, which were increasingly popular among the country's first tourists. The Mountain House was an early resort hotel set on a high Catskill Mountain plateau, from which visitors could look...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Edwin Lord Weeks
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While many nineteenth-century European artists were known for their “exotic” North African and Middle Eastern subjects, the American expatriate Edwin Lord Weeks was exceptional in also undertaking paintings based on three remarkable extended visits to India (in 1882, 1886, and 1892). In these works, Weeks’s virtuoso talent for the dynamic transcription of brilliant light and color allowed him to represent subjects that some genteel Western audiences might otherwise have found...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Circle of Diego Quispe Tito
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eye 584
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In colonial Peru, the ruling Spanish orchestrated the production and dispersal of religious imagery as testimony to the Christian mission of Spanish domination. This long narrative panel—which should be read from right to left—was produced in the Spanish colonial artistic center of Cuzco, Peru, a highland city that remained a stronghold of native Inca culture. While the artists working in Spanish-influenced painting guilds borrowed heavily from works by European artists in the local...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by John Quidor
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Early ethnic stereotypes animate this painting based on one of the American author Washington Irving's raucous stores of life in colonial New York. In this scene from "The Adventure of the Black Fisherman," three money-mad characters hunt for treasure supposed to have been buried in a Dutch New York cemetery at the time of the British takeover. In painting the miserly Dutchman (far left), the sinister German sorcerer, and the superstitious black fisherman who led the group to the...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Asher B. Durand
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favorite 4
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Asher B. Durand’s composition depicts an expanse of rugged terrain and forests under stormy skies. This American wilderness yields to progress as a lone farmer reaps his first harvest in a field, still dotted with the stumps of recently cleared trees and gleaming under a sudden shaft of light that penetrates the heavy clouds. A boulder resting by the side of the road identifies our glorified pioneer by name as “Graham.” Using funds bequeathed by one of its founders, Augustus Graham, the...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Eastman Johnson
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Eastman Johnson drew his inspiration for this Civil War picture from an incident that reportedly occurred during the Battle of Antietam (1863) in which an injured drummer boy asked a comrade to carry him so that he could continue drumming his unit forward. The emblematic image of a heroic youth literally rising above the chaos of the battlefield resonated deeply with Northern audiences both during and after the war. Johnson’s initial drawing of the subject was exhibited in 1864 to foster...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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Gathered around Jesus, the disciples ask him to teach them to pray. With arms opened wide and hands upraised in a gesture of humility, Jesus begins his prayer with an acknowledgment of God’s power in heaven and on earth. (Tissot places Jesus between the color-streaked sky and the ground on which his disciples sit, further signifying Jesus’ place between the human and the divine.) This invocation became the foundational prayer for his followers. Object metadata can change over time, please...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Daniel Ridgway Knight
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A dreamy mood prevails in this dignified image of a French shepherdess. The pastoral setting provides a poetic backdrop to her youth and beauty, creating a picture that erases the social realities of peasant life. Daniel Ridgway Knight, who was born in Philadelphia and expatriated to France in the early 1870s, was well aware of this painting's potential for success when it debuted at the Paris Salon in 1896; it combined the silvery gray palette and romanticized peasant subject matter that were...
Topics: art, American 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
by James Hamilton
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eye 461
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
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eye 447
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Taking shelter underneath a sturdy oak, an elegantly, if scantily clad young woman—perhaps separated from her party of nature-seekers—tearfully cowers as powerful winds whip at her gauzy attire. In this picture, exhibited at the Salon of 1799, Bonnemaison pays homage to the era's prevailing, classically inspired tastes: the young woman wears the high-waisted, muslin robe à l'antique and delicate cothurnes , or sandals, that became all the rage for fashionable French women in the 1790s. At...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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In an image that recalls centuries of precedents, Christ’s loved ones have gathered to draw down his body for burial. Each nail is carefully removed, Tissot explains, before the legs are swathed in linen and the body, held in a long band of material, is slowly lowered into the upraised arms of the Virgin Mary, who is clad in blue. She is joined by the Magdalene, who once more wipes the feet of Jesus, and Saint John the Evangelist, who stands at the foot of the cross holding the shroud with...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Pierre-Édouard Frère
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Frère found great success with his depictions of children, in rustic village interiors, engaged in various activities—school lessons, domestic chores, and games with siblings or friends. In both of these images, Frère presents his small subjects sympathetically, adopting their low vantage points. While the young girl diligently sits beside the stove with her ladle at the ready to stir the soup or stew, the boy in the schoolroom sulks after a scolding from his teacher, with the discarded...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
image
eye 433
favorite 5
comment 0
Throughout the embattled environment of the colonial Americas—above and below the equator—portraits served as potent symbols of political and social power. The Brooklyn Museum's strong holdings of Spanish colonial art afford an unusual opportunity to study American colonial portraiture on the broadest possible level. Portraits of the historical kings of the Inca dynasty of Peru—including this eighteenth-century example—were a type that originated in the context of the vying powers of...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
image
eye 430
favorite 3
comment 0
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
image
eye 429
favorite 5
comment 0
Throughout the embattled environment of the colonial Americas—above and below the equator—portraits served as potent symbols of political and social power. The Brooklyn Museum's strong holdings of Spanish colonial art afford an unusual opportunity to study American colonial portraiture on the broadest possible level. Portraits of the historical kings of the Inca dynasty of Peru—including this eighteenth-century example—were a type that originated in the context of the vying powers of...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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eye 427
favorite 2
comment 0
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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eye 426
favorite 3
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According to Matthew, Jesus travels from Galilee to Judaea to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Although John humbly protests and suggests that it is he who should be baptized by Jesus instead, Jesus insists. Here, a dove descends from the heavens as Jesus emerges from the water, while a voice from above calls him “my beloved Son.” Perhaps in reference to earlier passages in the Gospels relating the curiosity and suspicion John’s desert ministry inspired in some...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by George Wesley Bellows
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Assured, slashing strokes of a heavily loaded brush capture the effects of morning light reflected from freshly fallen snow. This view of the Hudson River and New Jersey from Manhattan's Upper West Side transmits the sense of the city's awakening energies through its depiction of the man shoveling snow, people going to work, boats plying the river, and smoke and steam interrupting the still, crisp atmosphere—features that signal Bellows's affinity for the art of the New York Realist Robert...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Arnold Böcklin
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Arnold Böcklin was one of many artists lured to Italy to sketch and paint the light-bathed countryside in and around Rome. Unlike Hubert Robert and Pierre Thuillier (whose works are also shown here), who found inspiration in timeworn monuments, the Swiss painter did not seek out famous landmarks but preferred rustic sites seemingly untouched by man. Although Böcklin includes the figure of a bather disrobing in the middle ground, her tiny form primarily underscores the vastness of nature, seen...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Samuel Colman
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eye 389
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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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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
Brooklyn Museum
by Jean-Léon Gérôme
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eye 383
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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 William Trost Richards
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eye 376
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
image
eye 356
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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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eye 343
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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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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
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
Brooklyn Museum
by James Tissot
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In this chapter of Matthew, Jesus teaches frequently with parables, or fables—a strategy that frustrates his disciples, who ask him why he uses this challenging method of preaching. To explain his pedagogy, Jesus invokes yet another parable, the fable of the sower. The sower scatters his seeds on inhospitable terrain—rocky, thorny, and dry—seemingly to no effect. But many of the seeds do find fertile ground, producing a plentiful harvest. For Jesus, his words are like the seeds of the...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Louis Rémy Mignot
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Throughout the nineteenth century, few landscape forms were more immediately recognizable as American than Niagara Falls. The image of Niagara was often employed in art and literature to embody the natural might that underlay the nation's promise and destined greatness. A southern-born artist, Louis Rémy Mignot painted this view Niagara after he had moved to London during the Civil War. Before leaving the United States in 1862, he had sketched at Niagara Falls, perhaps with the idea of...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
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According to John, while the Roman governor continues to find Jesus blameless, he accedes to pressure from the priests and decides to “chastise” him through scourging. Jesus is bound, defenseless, to a marble column and whipped before a crowded court as Pilate looks on from the palace loggia in the background. Christ’s tormentors perform a punishment most likely inflicted, Tissot tells his readers, with leather whips weighted with pieces of bone. Object metadata can change over time,...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Frederic Edwin Church
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eye 320
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, American 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
Nardo di Cione, along with his brother Orcagna, dominated Florentine painting in the second half of the fourteenth century. After the Black Death struck Florence in 1348—taking the lives of two-thirds of the population—artists reacted against the humanism championed earlier in the century by Giotto (1267–1337). In this pivotal moment, Nardo returned to the use of gold grounds, the traditional manner of representing the changeless luminosity of the eternal, while nonetheless continuing to...
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
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
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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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This image shows the statue of Our Lady of Cocharcas, a town high in the Andes whose buildings and inhabits are also depicted. As the Virgin of the Purification, Mary holds a candlestick and bouquet of flowers and olives. Both mother and child wear gold crowns indicating that they are the Queen and Prince of Heaven. The baldachin, or canopy, that covers and protects them is another sign of high status. Two angels hold a banner above the scene that can be translated as "All beautiful is...
Topics: art, European Art
Brooklyn Museum
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In this parable, a young man leaves the comfort of family, wanders foreign lands, and resorts to begging after wasting a fortune through debauchery. Returning, he receives the embrace of his father, who warmly welcomes him home despite his mistakes, prompting the young man to repent the rejection of his family. Tissot had treated the Prodigal Son subject several times before, first in the guise of early historicizing scenes that helped establish his career and then, in the early 1880s, as a...
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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
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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Religious imagery appeared in a range of media and sizes to help foster devotion among Catholics in the Americas. Small paintings of saints such as these—called santos de retablo —would have been hung in churches or in private homes and carried in processions or during travel. As in European precedents, this Andean example includes portraits of the donors shown worshiping the pictured saint. The inscription at center identifies them as Mariano Pina and his wife (at left) and their two sons...
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Brooklyn Museum
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Informal scenes of the Holy Family were popular in Spain and its colonies. Saint Joseph, portrayed as a handsome young man, here clasps the Child's hand in a gesture of affection and fatherly guidance. Joseph's other hand grasps a triple-branched lily on a single stem--his attribute and here a symbol of the Trinity. The Christ Child holds a basket of carpenter's tools. His red sandals are made in an Incan style. Originally, a full border of roses and native lilies would have further flattened...
Topics: art, American 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
To help guide the reader through the narrative of the Passion in his published Bible, Tissot repeatedly depicts two angels holding a dial, or clock, indicating the specific hour at which each event occurs. The tapers in their hands, Tissot tells us, signify purity and light: behind them, the sky is dark, but countless stars recall the promise of eternity. Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
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Brooklyn Museum
by William Merritt Chase
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One of the most successful painters in late nineteenth-century America, William Merritt Chase was a New York personality whose reputation was enhanced by the opulent studio space pictured here, in which he worked and promoted his art. First inspired by the exotically appointed studios of his European contemporaries during his student years abroad, Chase embarked on his own collecting, returning to New York with a wide-ranging assortment of paintings, furniture, textiles, metalwork, ceramics and...
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Thomas Hewes Hinckley
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Object metadata can change over time, please check the Brooklyn Museum object record for the latest information.
Topics: art, American Art
Brooklyn Museum
by Cuzco School
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In this charming Nativity scene celebrating the Holy Family in humble surroundings, the Child is the focus of attention as Mary and Joseph kneel beside him in worship. A shepherd bearing a sheep enters at the left, and an ox and ass are in attendance at the right. Radiant clouds beam down, while a sturdy little booted angel hovers above bearing a scroll, whose Latin inscription proclaims "Glory to God in the highest." A few Peruvian flowers bloom at the foot of the manger. Both...
Topics: art, American Art