Manet's Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers represents a foray into religious imagery that was rare for the artist and his peers in the French avant-garde. It is in fact only one of only two major works on religious themes executed by Manet in the early 1860s.
In this striking work, Manet depicted the moment when Jesus’s captors taunt him by crowning him with thorns and covering him with a purple robe. According to the Gospel narratives, these soldiers then beat Jesus, but Manet portrays them as almost ambivalent as they surround his pale, stark figure. One gazes at him, one kneels in mock 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. This painting would have been shocking to viewers at the time because Christ’s figure is unheroic and unidealized, emphasizing him more as a man.
Image Credit: Édouard Manet. Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers, 1865. Gift of James Deering.
20 hours 35 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago OPENING TOMORROW—Jacques-Louis David’s "Napoleon"
French painter Jacques-Louis David created the quintessential image of Napoleon in 1812 and this rare loan provides occasion to highlight related works in the Art Institute's own collection as well as an interactive digital reconstruction of the artist's sketchbook
1 day 17 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago #TBT 1924: An old favorite—The Art Institute included German Shepherds as part of our crackerjack security team from the 1920s until the 1940s. Here we see guard dogs Billo and Bella posing with their handler, along with a few paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.