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Christ Receiving the Children

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


about 1655


Sébastien Bourdon
French, 1616-1671

About this artwork

In this illustration of an episode from the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament, Jesus (reclining at center) admonishes his disciples not to prevent little children from approaching him. Sébastien Bourdon’s figures wear draperies in the antique fashion, and the setting evokes both ancient Rome and the Christian Holy Land.

One of the most versatile and successful 17th-century French painters, Bourdon emulated the rigorous classical style of Nicolas Poussin. Bourdon knew Poussin’s work (such as the painting on view in this gallery) from his early years in Rome. Following Poussin’s compositional principles, Bourdon organized this scene as a series of parallel, stage-like registers, resulting in a calm, geometric order.


On View, Gallery 209


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Sébastien Bourdon


Christ Receiving the Children


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.



Oil on canvas


100.3 × 135.2 cm (39 1/2 × 53 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Eugene A. Davidson

Reference Number


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