Wednesday, March 10, 2010

They Divided His Garments among Them

Title: They Divided His Garments among Them

Artist: Abraham Rattner

Medium: Gouache, pen and ink, and pencil on paper mounted on paper sheet

Size: 27 x 35cm

Date: 1973

Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.

Mark 15:24 Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

The division of Jesus’ garments was a fulfillment of prophecy recorded in Psalms 22:17-18: “They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Further, it is known that Roman soldiers customarily divided an executed criminals apparel, so it is telling that a prophecy written long before the time of Jesus not only told what would happen to him, but described the behavior of an empire that did not conquer Jerusalem until 64 BC.

Abraham Rattner (July 8, 1893, Poughkeepsie, New York – February 14, 1978) was an American artist, best known for his richly colored paintings, often with religious subject matter. During World War I, he served in France with the U.S. Army as a camouflage artist. Rattner lived in Paris during the 20’s and 30’s, returning to New York in 1940. While living in Paris he had met and studied the paintings of Claude Monet, though his own work bears closer resemblance to that of Georges Rouault and Pablo Picasso. He taught at several schools, including The New School, New York (1947–55), and Yale University, New Haven, CT (1952–53).

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