Title: The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Artist: William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 212 x 309 cm
Location: Cathedral of La Rochelle, La Rochelle, France.
Mark 15:15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Unlike Jesus, Barabbas was a violent revolutionary, but as he did not claim to be king or boast such a large following as Jesus, Pilate may have been willing to appease the crowd. Jesus, like many political prisoners before and after him, is summarily tortured and humiliated.
"The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ” is one of Bouguereau's greatest religious masterpieces. Surrounded by his torturers and a group of curious spectators, the pain of Christ's torment is almost palpable. To the left a young boy shelters his eyes from the horrid sight by turning his back and pressing himself against his mother. To the right, just above Christ's head, a baby looks down at him sympathetically while hoisted up on his father's shoulders. This life size masterpiece is every bit as great any of the religious works done by Renaissance masters, the harmonious interplay of drawing, paint handling, composition, and perspective combining for a powerful emotional thrust.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter. A staunch traditionalist, his realistic genre paintings and mythological themes were modern interpretations of Classical subjects. His almost photo-realistic style was popular with rich art patrons, and he was very famous in his time, but today his subject matter and technique receive relatively little attention compared to the popularity of the Impressionists.