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.

1 comment:

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