About This Artwork

Édouard Manet
French, 1832–1883

Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers, 1865

Oil on canvas
74 7/8 x 58 3/8 in. (190.8 x 148.3 cm)
Inscribed at lower right: Manet

Gift of James Deering, 1925.703

Although the art of Eduoard Manet was often rooted in references to the history of art, his subjects—parks, cafés, racetracks—were usually quite modern. Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers represents a foray into religious imagery that was rare for Manet (and for his peers in the French avant-garde). Its theme, heroic scale, and dark colors related it to Old Master paintings. Its treatment, however, reflects Manet's usual daring, his flouting of convention. Here, the viewer is confronted with a very human, vulnerable Jesus whose fate is no longer his to determine. Manet depicted the moment when Jesus' captors have mocked the "king of the Jews" by crowning him with thorns and covering him with a purple robe. Although this taunting is followed by beatings, according to Gospel narrative, Manet's three earthy and contemporary-looking soldiers appear ambivalent as they surround the pale, stark figure of Jesus. One gazes at him, one kneels in apparent homage, and one holds the purple cloak in such a way as to suggest that he wishes to cover Christ's nakedness, rather than strip him. Manet's use of stark contrasts, flat forms, and a dark palette of thickly applied pigment enhances this raw and powerful impression.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Salon, 1865, cat. 1427

Paris, Pavillon de l’Alma, Manet Exposition Particuliére, 1867, cat. 6.

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exposition of Paintings by Edouard Manet, March 1895, cat. 9.

New York, Albright Art Gallery, French Impressionists Exhibition, 1907.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, 1933, cat. 327, pl. 56.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, 1934, cat. 247.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Manet and Renoir, November 1933–January 1934.

Baltimore Museum of Art, A Survey of French Painting, November 23, 1934–January 1, 1935, cat. 23 (ill.).

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Manet, November 3-December 11, 1966, cat. 71 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, January 13-Februry 19, 1967.

Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Manet: 1832–1883, April 22–August 1, 1983, cat. 87 (ill.); traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 10–November 27, 1983.

Tokyo, Isetan Museum of Art, Edouard Manet, June 26-July 29, 1986, cat. 7 (ill.); traveled to Fukuoka Art Museum, August 2-31, 1986 and Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, September 9-October 12, 1986.

Madrid, Museo National del Prado, Manet en el Prado, October 14, 2003-January 11, 2004, cat. 66 (ill.).

Publication History

Emile Zola, Preface in Manet Exposition Particulière, exh. cat. (Paris, 1867), p. 34.

F. Jahyer, Salon de 1865 (Paris, 1865), p. 23.

G. Privat, Place aux Jeunes, causeries critiques sur le Salon de 1865 (Paris, 1865), p. 42.

Théophile Gautier, “Salon de 1865,” La Monde Illustré (May 6, 1865), p. 283.

L. Leroy, Le Charivari (May 11, 1865).

A. J. du Pays, “Salon de 1865,” L’Illustration (May 11, 1865), p. 298.

Junior, “Courrier de Paris,” Le Monde Illustré (May 13, 1865), p. 275.

E. Chesnau, “Le Salon de 1865m” Le Constitutionnel (May 16, 1865).

Charles Clément, “Exposition de 1865,” Le Journal des Débats (May 18, 1865).

Dubose de Pesquidoux, “Le Salon de 1865,” L’Union (May 24, 1865).

L. de Montifaut, “Salon de 1865,” L’Ariste (May 28, 1865), p. 24.

P. de Saint Victor, “le Salon de 1865,” La Presse (May 28, 1865).

F. Deriege, “Salon de 1865,” La Siècle (June 2, 1865).

Théophile Gautier, “Le Salon de 1865,” La Moniteur universal (June 24, 1865).

Junius, “M. Édouard Manet,” Le Gaulois (April 25, 1876).

James Jackson Jarves, Experiences and Observations of an American Amateur in Europe (Boston, 1879), p. 269.

E. Bazire, Manet (Paris, 1884), p. 44.

Théodore Duret, Histoire d’Édouard Manet et de son oeuvre (Paris, 1902), pp. 27, 41, 206, no. 57.

Hugo von Tschudi, Édouard Manet (Berlin, 1902), p. 19.

Camille Mauclair, L’Impressionnisme, son histoire, son esthétique, ses mâitres (Paris, 1904), pp. 52, 62.

P. Gsell, “Le Classicisme de Manet,” Art et les Artistes (November 2, 1905), pl. opp. p. 43.

“French Impressionism at the Albright Gallery,” Academy Notes 3, 7 (December 1907), p. 114-5 (ill.).

Théodore Duret, Manet and the French Impressionists (London, 1910), p. 218, no. 57.

G. J. Wolff, “Édouard Manet,” Die Kunst, January 1, 1911, p. 150 (ill.).

Julius Meier-Graefe, Edouard Manet (Munich, 1912), pp. 71, 73, 318, no. 17, fig. 40.

Antonin Proust, “Erinnerungen an Édouard Manet,” Kunst und Künstler (December 1912), p. 137 (ill.).

Antonin Proust, Edouard Manet: Souvenirs (Paris, 1913), pp. 47, 52, no. 6.

E. Waldman, Edouard Manet (Berlin, 1923), p. 37.

Jacques Emile Blanche, Manet (Paris, 1924), p. 32.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Annual Report (Chicago, 1925), p. 32 (ill.).

Adolphe Tarbarant, “Manet: pPintre religieux,” Bulletin de la Vie Artistique (1923), pp. 249–250.

Etienne Moreau-Nélaton, Manet raconté par lui-même vol. 1 (Paris, 1926), pp. 67–68, fig. 75.

Théodore Duret, Histoire de Édouard Manet et de son oeuvre vol. 1 (Paris, 1926), pp. 67, 68, fig. 75.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago 20, 1926, pp. 1, 8–9 (ill.).

Art News, 24 (January 1, 1926), p. 6 (ill.).

Paul Jamot, “Manet and the Olympia,” Burlington Magazine 50 (1927), p. 28.

Lionello Venturi, “Manet,” L’Art 32 (July–August 1929), p. 154.

A. Tabarant, Manet: Histoire catalographique (Paris, 1931), p. 141, no. 101.

R[eginald] H[oward] Wilenski, French Painting (Boston, 1931), pp. 245, pl. 96, 249, 252.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection, (Chicago, 1932), p. 57 (ill.).

Paul Jamot and George Wildenstein, Manet (Paris, 1932), vol. 1, pp. 22, 80, 90, 107, no. 107, 130, no. 113; vol. 2, p. 6, fig. 21.

Daniel Catton Rich, “The Spanish Background for Manet’s Early Work,” Parnassuis 4 (February 1932), p. 4.

George Bazin, “Manet et la Tradition,” L’Amour de l’Art, [May] (1932), p. 155.

A. M. Franfurter, “Art in the Century of Progress,” The Arts 20 (May 1933), p. 33 (ill.).

Daniel Catton Rich, “L’Exposition d’Art français à l’Art Institute de Chicago,” Formes 33 (1933), p. 382.

E. Lambert, “Manet et l’Espagne,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts [June] (1933), p. 370.

Hans Tietze, Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika (Vienna, 1935), no. 283 (ill.).

Robert Rey, Manet (New York, 1938), p. 14.

Théodore Duret, Manet, trans. J. E. Crawford Flitch (New York, 1941), pp. 86, 87, 379, ill. opp. p. 90.

Gotthard Jedlicka, Edouard Manet (Erlenbach-Zurich, 1941), pp. 86, 87, 379, ill. opp. p. 90.

A. Tabarant, La Vie artistique au temps de Baudelaire (Paris, 1942), pp. 421, 488.

The Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1945), p. 36.

John Rewald, History of Impressionism (New York, 1946), pp. 121, 123, 237, no. 39 (reprinted in 1961).

Hans Huth, “Impressionism Comes to America,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 29 (1946), p. 242, 236 (ill.).

A. Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1947), pp. 104–106, 113, 136, 536, ill. 105.

Michel Florisoone, Manet (Monaco, 1947), p. xvi and pl. 29.

N. G. Sandblad, Manet, Three Studies in Artistic Conception (Lund, 1954), pp. 150, 157.

E. Wind, “Traditional Religion and Modern Art,” Art News 52 (1953), pp. 19–20.

George Heard Hamilton, Manet and His Critics (New Haven, 1954), pp. 34, 65–66, 70, 78, 80–90, 96, 265, pl. 13.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1956), p. 34.

John Richardson, Édouard Manet: Paintings and Drawings (London, 1958), pp. 24, 121.

A. de Leiris, “Manet’s Christ Scourged by Soldiers,” The Art Bulletin 41, 2 (June 1959), pp. 198–201 (ill.).

F. J. W. Hemming and R. J. Niess, E. Zola, Salons (Geneva and Paris, 1959), p. 97.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), p. 270.

John Rewald, A History of Impressionism (New York, 1961), pp. 121, 123, 137, n. 39.

Theodore Reff, “The Meaning of Manet’s Olympia,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts ser. 6, 63 (February 1964), pp. 115–116.

John FitzMaurice Mills, “Art Forum,” The Irish Times (December 22, 1965), p. 6 (ill.).

George Head Hamiliton, “Is Manet Still Modern,” Art News Annual 31 (1966), p. 119 (ill.), 159.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Calendar 61 (January 1967), p. 2.

Phoebe Pool and Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paitnings of Manet (New York, 1967), pp. 83, 94-95, fig. 89A.

Meret Bodelsen, “Early Impressionist Sales,” Burlington Magazine (June 1968), p. 341, no. 17.

Michael Fried, “’Manet’s Sources’: A critical Evaluation,” Artforum 8, 1 (September 1969), p. 44–45 (ill.), 48 n. 23.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (London, 1970), pp. 75, 76 (ill.), 283.

Denis Rouart and S. Orienti, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Manet (Paris, 1970), p. 88a.

George Bazin, Édouard Manet (Milan, 1972), pp. 8, 29, 88 (ill.).

George Mauner, Manet: Peintre-Philosophe: A Study of the Painter’s Themes (University Park, 1975), p. 140.

Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein, Édouard Manet: Catalogue raisonné (Paris, 1975), v. 1, pp. 102–103, no. 102, ill., p. 104.

Theodore Reff, Manet: Olympia (New York, 1977), pp. 20, 45–47, ill.

Anne Coffin Hanson, Manet and the Modern Tradition (New Haven and London, 1977), pp. 46, 47, 108, 109, 110, pl. 76.

The Art Institute of Chicago, 100 Masterpieces (Chicago, 1978), p. 86 (ill), 97.

Gisela Hopp, “Édouard Manet: Christus von den Soldaten Verhöhnt (1865),” in Zusammenhang: Festschrift für Marielene Putscher, ed. by Otto Baur and Otto Glandien (Köln, 1984), pp. 713–733, pl. 1.

Kathleen Adler, Manet (Oxford, 1986), pp. 62-68, fig. 49.

Richard R. Brettell, French Salon Artists, 1800–1900 (Chicago, 1987), pp. 58 (detail ill.), 59–60, 61 (ill.), 119.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Master Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1988), p. 52 (ill.).

Mikael Wivel, Juliet Wilson-Bareau and Hanne Finsen, Manet, exh. cat. (Copenhagen, Ordrupgaard, 1989), p. 84, fig. a.

Richard Mühleberger, The Bible in Art: The New Testament (New York, 1990), pp. 123, 125 (ill.), 173 (ill.), 176.

Henri Loyrette and Gary Tinterow, Impressionnisme: Les origins 1895-1869, exh. cat. (Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais and New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995), pp. 51, fig. 74, 112, 312, 401.

Alex Worth, “The Lost Photographs of Edouard Manet,” Art in America (January 2007), p. 59 (ill.).

Mary Mathews Gedo, “The Perils of Young Love: Monet’s Magnificent Failure,” Monet and His Muse: Camille Monet in the Artists Life, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. p. 27.

Ownership History

Inventoried at the artist studio after his death, 1883, no. 17; Manet's atelier sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, February 4–5, 1884, lot 17, withdrawn. Possibly sold by Léon Leenhoff, Gennevilliers to Boussod et Valadon, Paris, 1893 [according to Rouart and Wildenstein 1975]. Jean Baptiste Faure, Paris, 1894; half share in the painting sold to Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paris and New York on April 17, 1894 [according to Paris 1983]; sold to James Deering (died 1925), Chicago on October 23, 1911 for $ 22,000; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1925.




View mobile website