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The Good Samaritan

A work made of lithograph on white china paper laid down on white wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lithograph on white china paper laid down on white wove paper.




Rodolphe Bresdin
French, 1825-1885

About this artwork

Considered the masterwork of Bresdin’ s career and one of the outstanding lithographs of the nineteenth century, The Good Samaritan relates the parable of the heathen who aided an injured traveller, whom a priest and a Levite had passed by with averted eyes. The work was first exhibited in the state-sponsored Salon of 1861 under the title Abd el-Kader aiding a Christian, in reference to the Muslim hero who personally saved thousands of Christians from Syrian aggression in 1860. While the event surely parallels the biblical tale, Bresdin probably alluded to the well-known contemporary figure of Abd el-Kader as a means to popularize his own religious imagery. Indeed, the print was so well received that it was published in a series of editions, at such profit to the artist that he later referred to the print as “my good Samaritan.” This proof was printed early in the first edition, before the lithographic stone began to deteriorate, and is one of the most crisp and successful existing impressions of the print.


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Prints and Drawings


Rodolphe Bresdin


The Good Samaritan


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1861


Lithograph on white China paper laid down on white wove paper


Image: 56.4 × 44.3 cm (22 1/4 × 17 1/2 in.); Sheet: 69 × 55.4 cm (27 3/16 × 21 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior bequests of Charles Deering, Maxine Kunstadter and Carl O. Schniewind; through prior acquisitions of the Joseph Brooks Fair Endowment, The Carter H. Harrison, Print and Drawing Club and Print Department Purchase Funds; through prior gift of an anonymous donor

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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