Saturday, July 4, 2009

Christ and the Fisherman

Title: Christ and the Fisherman

Artist: Georges Rouault

Medium: Oil on paper mounted on masonite panel

Size: 36.8 x 48.9 cm

Date: 1937

Location: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

After Christ’s temptations in the wilderness, he went to the shores of Galilee and made his first choices of those who would become disciples. Depicted are the events from Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus having gathered Simon, his brother Andrew, and the brothers James and John, proclaiming that he will teach them how to bring in people instead of fish.

The painting is a very intimate affair, the group gathered along the lake shore, Jesus in intimate conversation with one of his new followers. The framing and colors suggest unity of a group preparing to go all over Galilee and spread the good news.

Georges Henri Rouault (27 May 1871 – 13 Feb 1958) was a French Expressionist painter and printmaker. The Christian faith informed his work in his search for inspiration and marks him out as perhaps the most passionate Christian artist of the 20th century. In 1885 Rouault started a short apprenticeship as a glass painter and restorer. This early experience has been suggested as a source of the heavy black contouring and glowing colors of Rouault's mature painting style.

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