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.
2 days 17 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago TOMORROW at 4:00—See the world premiere of “The Electric Stage” by performance collective Manual Cinema.
Manual Cinema uses vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live camera feeds, sound design, and a live music ensemble to create immersive visual stories on stage and screen.
2 days 20 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago A Sunday on La Grande Jatte has been among the museum’s most beloved paintings since it first entered the collection in 1926. ARTicle celebrates the birthday of Georges Seurat, with some fun facts about this pointillist masterpiece.
3 days 12 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago #TBT Ladies strike a pose in Blackstone Hall, 1909.
Demolished in 1958, the enormous two-story gallery once spanned the area between where the Asian art and Prints and Drawings galleries are today and housed over 150 plaster cast sculptures, many replicas of Greek and Roman art received as gifts from the French government.