5 Images of Christ by Delacroix

Plate 13, Delacroix, The Entombment Plate 16, Delacroix, The Disciples at Emmaus Plate 7, Delacroix, Christ on the Sea of Galilee Delacroix_Christ_Oliviers Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 9.27.17 AM
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In exhibition: “Christ on the Sea of Galilee,” Eugène Delacroix, ca. 1841. Oil on canvas, 45.7x54.3cm. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, through exchange of the gifts of the Friends of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Parker, and the Durand-Ruel Galleries; and the bequest of John K. Havemeyer (89-16).

With Easter weekend and the final month of the exhibition upon us, now is the time to visit Delacroix and the Matter of Finish! Delacroix was fascinated by religious figures, and often depicted Christ in his art.

The first three images in the gallery are on view in the exhibition, which you can explore with your family and friends this Easter weekend. The Museum is closed on Good Friday, but will be open Saturday and Easter Sunday.

1. The Entombment: In this smaller version of a painting exhibited at the 1848 Paris Salon and the 1855 World’s Fair, Delacroix focuses on the body of Christ, dramatically illuminated and surrounded by six figures. He later commented: “The general effect inspires an emotion that astonishes even myself … No single detail seems to call for special admiration or distract your attention from the whole.” What emotions do you feel when looking at this piece?

2. The Disciples at Emmaus: Critics had both positive and negative reactions to this small painting. Some appreciated the simplicity of the interior nighttime scene dramatically illuminated by Christ’s halo, while others found that the exaggerated color lost touch with reality. What do you think of it?

3. Christ on the Sea of Galilee:  This biblical story emphasizes the importance of faith, even in the face of seeming doom Jesus sleeps peacefully, while his disciples fear the storm. When they wake him, he miraculously calms the seas and asks, “Where is your faith?” Delacroix rapidly applied paint to capture the movement of wind, and areas of vivid red, green, blue, and orange contrast with the cool stillness of Jesus’ blue robe. Do you sense the movement and drama of this piece?

Images 4 and 5 are not featured in the exhibition, but show further examples of Delacroix’s fascination with Christ in his work. What do you think of each of the pieces? Come see them over Easter weekend to explore them yourself!