Monday, August 31, 2009

Christ Giving the Keys to St Peter

Title: Christ Giving the Keys to St Peter

Artist: Lorenzo Veneziano

Medium: Panel

Size: 90 x 60 cm

Date: 1369

Location: Museo Correr, Venice.

In Matthew 16:15-19 when the disciple Simon Peter states that Jesus is the Messiah, and the Son of the living God, Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Lorenzo Veneziano fulfilled countless commissions in Venice and its vicinity that display a style that is a handsome fusion of Byzantine and later pictorial currents. His commissions included an altarpiece which was later dismembered, and its side panels unfortunately destroyed in Berlin in 1945. But the central panel depicting Christ Giving the Keys to St Peter survived and is now considered a masterpiece in its own right. His rich, elegant painting is characterized by brilliantly clear color, the sculpture-like form of his figures, and the expressiveness of their faces. He accentuated the sense of space and added a fresh dimension to the elongated style of Byzantine figures.

Lorenzo Veneziano was an Italian painter active 1356-1372 in Venice. We have little written evidence for the life of Veneziano, who was one of the most important figures in late-fourteenth-century Venice, but many of his surviving works are dated. It is likely that he worked in the workshop of Paolo Veneziano in the early 1350s and he also worked at Verona, Vicenza, and Bologna, where he executed the Lion Triptych (1357-59) for the Sant'Antonio Abate church (now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Peek-A-Boo Jesus

Title: Peek-A-Boo Jesus (AKA Lund's Corner Jesus)

Artist: Maki105

Medium: Wheat-pasted poster

Size: 180 x 78 cm

Date: 2009

Location: Premier Video, New Bedford, Massachusetts.

In the parking lot of Premier Video, a few days after street artist Maki105 placed a wheat pasted poster titled “Peek-A-Boo Jesus” on the side of the New Bedford, Massachusetts video store, dozens of Christians began flocking to the site. They came from miles around. They were young and old, sometimes three generations of a family in a car. There were blue-collar workers with their buddies, retirees, teenagers. They brought cameras and took pictures of each other near the figure of Christ. Some brought flowers, real and artificial, and some brought candles that flickered in their jars in the spring breeze.

Christ's enigmatic gesture — he is holding his hands over his eyes — stirred many of those into what was a fairly unanimous interpretation: that Christ had to close his eyes to the world today. A middle-aged couple in their car didn't get out, but rolled down the window enough for the man to say, "I don't know what to make of it," and for his wife to concur with the idea that Jesus can't bear to watch anymore.

Maki105, perhaps aiming for a more satiric depiction of Christ playing peek-a-boo, may have not anticipated the reaction his work garnered from the faithful. But the gesture of covering one’s eyes is a powerful one, and the association with a game of peek-a-boo is far from the first thing that pops into one’s mind. We may laugh at the irony of a piece of art meant to poke fun at Christianity has accidentally become a Christian shrine, but one still can see the validity in the pilgrims’ interpretation over the artist’s.

Among visitors to the site was a consensus that whoever created the image, he or she did a masterful job, and it ought to be left right where it is. The idea of people celebrating street art and wishing to preserve it is also unusual. Perhaps these pilgrims see something uncharacteristically touching and powerful in Maki105’s work (the complete opposite of the derisive sarcasm intended by the artist) and want it saved.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Assumption of the Virgin

Title: Assumption of the Virgin

Artist: Federico Zuccaro

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: tbd

Date: c. 1566

Location: Museo Diocesano, Cortona.

The Assumption of Mary is a belief held by many Christians that the Virgin Mary, at the end of her life, was physically taken up into heaven. The earliest known narrative is the so-called Liber Requiei Mariae (The Book of Mary's Repose), a narrative which survives intact only in an Ethiopic translation. Probably composed by the 4th century, this early Christian apocryphal narrative may be as early as the 3rd century. The Roman Catholic Church teaches as dogma that Mary, "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as a scriptural basis for understanding the dogma. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.

In Zuccaro’s image, flanked by St John the Baptist to the left and St Catherine of Alexandria to the right, Mary seems to have just begun her rise to Heaven. The clouds have parted and a golden light prepares to receive her. The beauty of Zuccaro’s painting lies in its simplicity, as most images of the Assumption are depicted with the Heavenly Host providing a rapturous reception for the Mother of Jesus. Here, a few simple cherubs gather Mary and provide her escort, the true rapture lying just beyond the upper frame of the picture in the golden clouds.

Federico Zuccaro, also known as Federigo Zuccari (c. 1542 - July 20, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad. His documented career as a painter began in 1550, when he moved to Rome to work under Taddeo, his elder brother. He went on to complete decorations for Pius IV, and help complete the fresco decorations at the Villa Farnese at Caprarola. In 1585, he accepted an offer by Philip II of Spain to decorate the new Escorial at a yearly salary of 2,000 crowns. He worked at the palace from January 1586 to end of 1588, when he returned to Rome.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Christ Healing the Paralytic

Title: Christ Healing the Paralytic
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Mural
Size: 60 x 90 cm
Date: c. 235
Location: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.

As recorded in Matthew 9:1-8, after traveling, Jesus returned to his own town. Upon his return some men came to him with a paralytic man lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!", but knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." And the man got up and went home.

On the right of this mural, the paralytic is on his bed. To the top center is the earliest image of Jesus found anywhere, Christ making his pronouncement to “Take up your bed and walk.” On the left, the man takes his bed, and walks away. The figure of Jesus in this mural appears depicted as a type of the Teacher. He wears a tunic and pallium and sandals on his feet, he has close-cropped hair, and his face is that of a youthful, distinguished intellectual.

Dura Europos ("Fort Europos") is a ruined Hellenistic-Roman walled city built on cliff 90 meters above the banks of the Euphrates River. It is located near the village of Salhiyé, in today's Syria. Destroyed by war and abandoned in the 3rd century AD, it lay hidden until its rediscovery in 1920. Excavations have revealed, among other important ruins, a synagogue and church that are the oldest that have been found anywhere, and are also remarkable in that they were built very close to each other at virtually the same time. The church was dismantled and re-constructed at Yale University in the early 1930s.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Massacre of the Innocents

Title: The Massacre of the Innocents

Artist: Guido Reni

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 268 x 170 cm

Date: 1611

Location: Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

The Massacre of the Innocents is an episode of mass infanticide by the King of Judea, Herod the Great, which appears in the Gospel of Matthew 2:16-18. King Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi. Like much of Matthew's gospel, the incident is advanced as the fulfillment of passages in the Old Testament read as prophecies. The slaughtered infants, known as the Holy Innocents, have been claimed as the first Christian martyrs.

This depiction of events is rendered as bathed in light, but set before a landscape with dark and heavy architecture. A group of eight adults and eight children (including the putti distributing the palm fronds of victory) has been skillfully arranged. The unusual vertical format, rarely used for this theme, and above all the symmetrical structure of figural counterparts indicate that Reni was particularly interested in a specific problem of composition: that of achieving a balance between centripetal and centrifugal movement while combining them in a static pictorial structure. Reni also seeks to achieve this equilibrium in his expression of effects and in the distribution of color accents.

Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) was a prominent Italian painter of high-Baroque style. He was constantly seeking an absolute, rarefied perfection which he measured against classical Antiquity and Raphael. Because of this, over the years the Bolognese painter has been in and out of fashion, depending on the tastes of the times. The eighteenth century loved him, the nineteenth century, persuaded by the violent criticism of John Ruskin, hated him. But even his detractors cannot deny the exceptional technical quality of his work or the clarity of his supremely assured and harmonious brushwork.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unknown (Kingdom of Heaven)

Title: Unknown (Kingdom of Heaven)

Artist: Unknown (Japanese)

Medium: paint on parchment

Size: 20 x 30 cm

Date: c. 18th century

Location: Ikitsuki museum, Hirado.

After the brutal Japanese prohibition of Christianity in 1614, most images and icons were used only to ferret out Christians hiding among the populace. Officials would make everyone in an area step on a Christian image to prove they were not adherents of the faith. These images were called fumie, and usually depicted Christ, Mary and crosses. In response to this oppression some groups, mainly on the northwest coast of Kyushu and some small coastal islands, maintained the Christian faith in secret until in 1873, when under pressure from Western powers the freedom of worship is restored. These groups who prevailed against state oppression became know as Kakure Kirishitan (hidden Christians).

Images created by Japanese Christians are scant due, in most part, to the relentless persecution they faced. Figures of the saints and the Virgin Mary that were made skillfully exploited the similarities between Catholicism and Buddhism and were transformed into figurines that looked like the traditional statues of the Buddha and Buddhist Bodhisattavas. Prayers were adapted to sound like Buddhist prayers, yet retained many untranslated words from Latin, Portuguese and Spanish. The Bible was passed down orally, due to fears of printed works being confiscated by authorities. Scrolls and artwork not disguised were hidden and passed down through generations in secret Christian families.

The scroll shown here was created anonymously, and shows the Japanese impressions of the Christian teachings, with God the father, Mary and Jesus, and a winged angel to the left. The traditional European imagery is well represented, from the swirling and parting of heavenly clouds to the angels feathered wings.

In modern times, with the economic condition pulling the youth away from remote areas, many of the Kakure Kirishitan groups are thinning or even disbanding. Further, many of the families who used to be Kakure Kirishitan have rejoined the Catholic Church, or given up the faith entirely.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Martha and Mary

Title: Martha and Mary

Artist: Maurice Denis

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 77 x 116 cm

Date: 1896

Location: State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow.

A story recorded in Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ The Lord answered, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

The work of Maurice Denis in the 1890s is marked by the sincerity of a special gentle lyricism that is unique, and by a calm gracefulness of manner. The 1896 composition Martha and Mary is evidence of the artist's undiminishing interest in religious subjects and symbolism, and of the influence that the art of the Early Renaissance had on his work. As Martha and Mary were sisters, in the painting they share the same features and are juxtaposed, as it were, like the principles of dark and light, like two aspects of a single being. Many of the details in the painting can also be interpreted from a Symbolist point of view: the house was understood as the repository of wisdom, the enclosed garden embodied the feminine principle, and the well is the source of pure faith. Martha carries a dish of fruit on which grapes symbolize Christ, the apple Original Sin. The golden vessel on the table is a symbol of the Christian faith and redemption.

Maurice Denis (November 25, 1870 – November 1943) was a French painter and writer, born in Granville, a coastal town in the Normandy region of France. Waters and coastlines would remain favorite subject matter throughout his career, as would material drawn from the bible. For such an avant-garde figure, he was a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements, and his theories contributed to the foundations of cubism and abstract art, Denis had a surprisingly broad religious streak.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saint George Killing the Dragon

Title: Saint George Killing the Dragon

Artist: Bernat Martorell

Medium: Tempera on wood

Size: 141 x 96 cm

Date: 1430-35

Location: Art Institute of Chicago.

Saint George (ca. 275/281 – 23 April 303) was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints as well as being the patron saint of several nations. The episode of Saint George and the Dragon is Eastern in origin, brought back with the Crusaders and retold. The city of "Silene," Libya, was terrorized by a dragon. To appease the dragon the people used to feed it a sheep every day, but when the sheep failed, they fed it their children. One day it happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter who was led away to be fed to the dragon. By chance, St George rode past, subdued the dragon, and led it back to Silene. The people were terrified, but St George called out to them, saying that if they became Christians he would slay the dragon. The king and the people of Silene converted and George slew the dragon.

The principal axis of the composition is determined by St George's long spear. In addition to this, a single imaginary vertical line connects the eyes of the dragon, of the horse and of the princess. In the form of a letter V the two straight lines flank the bastion of the royal castle. Bones of humans and animals are scattered on the ground. In the background, in the middle of civilized, idyllic scenery is the royal castle, surrounded by a moat, on whose emerald waters swans are swimming. The crowd gathered on the balconies and bastions of the building watch with excitement to see how the fight will end. The light is reflected in different ways by the grains of sand, by the smooth rock, by the dragon's skin and its belly, by the metal amour and by the precious stones. Only the frightened eyes of the dragon and of the horse convey the dramatic qualities of the scene. Fright would be unworthy of the saint; his face is etherealized and serene.

Bernardo Martorell (b. ca. 1400, Sant Celoni, d. 1452, Barcelona) was a Spanish painter, working in an Early Renaissance style. He worked as a panel painter and illuminator in the service of the city of Barcelona, but he was often given the task of preparing designs for stained glass windows and for sculptures as well. This composition was originally the centre panel of an altarpiece; the two volets, with panels representing the saint's martyrdom, are preserved in the Louvre in Paris.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Madonna and Child

Title: Madonna and Child

Artist: Marianne Stokes

Medium: Tempera on panel

Size: 80 x 60cm

Date: 1907

Location: Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery

In art, the term “The Madonna” is applied specifically to an artwork in which Mary, with or without the infant Jesus, is the focus and central figure of the picture. Mary and the infant may be surrounded by adoring angels or worshiping saints, however paintings which have a narrative content are usually given a title that reflects the scene.

Such “Goddess worship” was not an original component of the Christian church. Shortly before 400 AD, Epiphanius of Salamis found it necessary to denounce women of Thrace, Arabia and elsewhere for worshiping Mary as an actual goddess. It may have been this zealotry to suppress heresies that led to difficulties for the early church in its uphill struggle eclipsing the worship of Isis. Faced with such difficulty church leaders, such as Cyril of Alexandria, began highlighting divine attributes that could be redirected to Mary, Queen of Heaven. It was during this period that a story began to circulate that Mary had been miraculously carried to Heaven by Jesus and his angels.

The Madonna and Child was one of many works Stokes produced based on spiritual themes. Painted in Ragusa on the Dalmatian coast, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the model for the Virgin Mary was a local village girl. The costume is representative of a traditional Dalmatian costume from the time, and provides a bright focus for Stokes to express her style as a colorist. In the background Stokes surrounds the Holy mother and child with thorny stems seeming to refer to the future crucifixion of Christ.

Marianne Stokes (1855 Graz – August 1927 London), born Marianne Preindlsberger in the Austrian province of Styria, was an Austrian painter. Financially independent after winning a prize for her talent she traveled to France where she studied under such artists as Dagnan-Bouveret and Courtois. She settled in England after her marriage to Adrian Scott Stokes, the landscape painter. Her interest in biblical themes is typical of the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, a group of artists working in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Title: Calvary

Artist: Ugolino-Lorenzetti

Medium: Tempera on panel

Size: 91.5 x 55.5 cm

Date: 1340-60

Location: The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Calvary, or Golgotha, is the hill in Jerusalem that was the site of Jesus' Crucifixion. The hill was outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem and near the sepulcher where Jesus was said to have been afterward interred. Details of the event are recorded in John 19:25-27 “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

This painting captures these events in John. In the left group we can identify the Virgin Mary, falling senseless into the hands of Mary Magdalene and John the Evangelist. To the right is the Roman centurion, who came to believe in Christ. In the elongated proportions of the figures, in the artist's attempt to convey the emotional state of his characters, one can feel the influence of Gothic art. The artist used the traditional gold background and "reverse perspective", by which the figures present at Christ's execution are portrayed as a single mass extending vertically, their heads one above the other. At the same time he sought to convey the depth of space by showing the figures at the foot of the cross just half the size of those in the foreground.

Ugolino Lorenzetti (or Ugolino-Lorenzetti) is an invented name for an unknown artist midway between the styles of Ugolino da Siena and the Lorenzetti. Also known as the Ovile Master (Maestro di San Pietro Ovile), he has been tentatively identified with Bartolommeo Bulgarini (active c. 1347-d. 1378) who is known to have been a painter. Ugolino-Lorenzetti is a name invented to cover a group of stylistically similar works, which are marked by a more gentle Byzantine style.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Title: The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Artist: Luca Giordano

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 419 x 283 cm

Date: 1666

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

From Revelation 12:7-9, “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” It has been said that the fall of the rebel angels is the greatest single theme of the Counter-Reformation. The theme allowed a church in conflict to present its propaganda regarding the struggle against heresy by using the theme of the struggling angel, also symbolizing the triumph of light over the rebellion of the powers of darkness.

Giordano sets the scene with relatively few figures, in which heaven and hell, the incense of the blessed and the brimstone of the damned are contrasted in an extremely confined space, creating an arc of tension within which the knight-like angel spreads his broad wings and wields his sword in a sweeping gesture of victory. Against a background of deep golden light, the archangel balances with an almost balletic movement on the heavy breast of Lucifer, entangled amidst a group of his servants, his angular and batlike wings cutting through the hazy sfumato of the hellfire. What appears at first glance to be so dramatic is not in fact the depiction of a struggle as such. Michael is not attacking the figures from hell with his sword, but is holding it aloft like a sign, as though his mere appearance were enough to cast Satan and his followers into eternal damnation.

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 3 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of Antonio Giordano, an undistinguished painter. At a precocious age, Giordano was apprenticed to Ribera on the recommendation of the viceroy of Naples.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mary Magdalene Approaching the Tomb

Title: Mary Magdalene Approaching the Tomb

Artist: Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 89.1 x 82.4 cm

Date: c. 1535-40

Location: The National Gallery, London.

On the Sunday morning after the Crucifixion, Mary Magdalene visited the tomb of Jesus, but found it empty. The story is recounted in the Gospel of John 20:11-16, and Mary Magdalene is here identified by the pot of ointment with which she anointed Christ's body, and by the glimpse of her traditional red dress beneath a silver-grey cloak. She was the first person to see Christ after the Resurrection.

In Savoldo’s depiction of these events Mary Magdalene looks up, as if disturbed while grieving. At the left edge of the painting, as part of a background that appears to represent Venice and its lagoon, there is the glow of the sunrise on the eastern horizon. And although the sun should rise in the east, the viewer is struck by the incongruity of the flood of bright, white light that strikes Mary’s shimmering robe from the right. The light that shines on Mary more intensely than the sun is meant to announce the presence of the risen, glorified Messiah. The moment shown here may be the moment when He calls her by name, and she recognizes her Lord.

Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo was born in Brescia. In 1508 he was in Florence, but thereafter he was mainly in Venice (except for a visit to Milan, 1532-4). His output was not great. His pictures are mostly of single figures against landscape backgrounds. The draperies of the figures are usually the most striking element, showing the light on the reflective textiles. Some of his pictures, such as 'Mary Magdalene' are known in a number of versions. The three principal Brescian painters—Moretto, Romanino, and Savoldo—would have a profound impact on Italian art thanks to their influence on a young artist born in the region later in the century: Caravaggio, who admired their approach to sacred painting, with its deliberately humble, earthy character.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good Friday

Title: Good Friday

Artist: Nolan Lee

Medium: Spray paint on panel

Size: 120 x 210cm

Date: 2007

Location: Bethany Baptist Church, Boulder.

“Graffiti has an interesting history to it. I call it vandalism. Some call it art. We wanted to use it because the story of the passion and the crucifixion of Christ is a very raw story,” said Pastor Rob Stout of the Bethany Baptist Church in Boulder. As recorded in John 19:1-3, after his arrest “...Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ And they struck him in the face.”

At the entrance to the candlelit path traced on the floor were panels of graffiti, including a depiction of Christ’s suffering through a spray-painted black eye and crown of thorns. Traditional labyrinths began in the Middle Ages for people who couldn’t make pilgrimages to the Holy Land. This tradition is resurfacing in modern times, and in 2007 a 35-foot prayer labyrinth was created at the Bethany Baptist Church in Boulder. The event also included nine interactive Stations of the Cross, with scatterings of nails around a cross and pieces of concrete rubble.

Nolan Lee, 23 year-old former college football player, is a Boulder painter and street artist making a name for himself outside of the gallery system. When a scholarship to play football at Montana State fell through at the list minute, he returned to his childhood hobby of painting for reassurance. Having no formal art training, he developed a raw, emotive style. “I think graffiti screams at you,” he has said. “I think it’s the perfect art form for Good Friday.” Lee said he was trying to communicate God’s message with his work. “Hopefully, he used me for his purpose in this.” His work can be viewed at

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jesus Walking on the Sea

Title: Jesus Walking on the Sea

Artist: Gustave Doré

Medium: Woodcut print

Size: large folio volumes (43 cm.)

Date: 1866

Location: Pg. 185, Le Sainte Bible: Traduction nouvelle selon la Vulgate par Mm. J.-J. Bourasse et P. Janvier. Tours: Alfred Mame et Fils.

After miraculously providing five thousand of his followers with food, Jesus withdrew again to a mountain to be by himself. That evening his disciples departed by boat without him, but, as recorded in John 6:18-21 “A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But he said to them, ‘It is I; don't be afraid.’ Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.”

A floundering boat is illuminated against a distant horizon, heavy clouds roiling overhead. Into this chaos strolls a majestic figure, self illuminating, reflected against what is everywhere else a churning sea. The simple confidence exuded in Doré’s Christ is well fitted to the call of ‘It is I; don't be afraid.’ One of the disciples, realizing the identity of the figure, waves back from the bow of the boat.

Paul Gustave Doré (January 6, 1832 – January 23, 1883) was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving. Doré was born in Strasbourg and his first illustrated story was published at the age of fifteen. By 1853 Doré was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron, and this commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated English Bible. Doré's English Bible (1866) was a great success, and in 1867 Doré had a major exhibition of his work in London. This exhibition led to the foundation of the Doré Gallery in New Bond Street.