James Tissot: The Life of Christ
March 23, 2011 — June 5, 2011
This exhibition is one of the most artful, dramatic, and influential visualizations of the Early Christian story ever created.
James Tissot’s The Life of Christ features more than 125 brilliantly conceived watercolors produced by the French painter for his mammoth, three-volume publication of the New Testament. Also called the Tissot Bible, the richly illustrated publication appeared in Paris in 1896, and quickly became an international sensation.
The exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum, which possesses all but a handful of the 365 watercolors that Tissot produced to illustrate his book. The selection of watercolors in the exhibition embraces the whole of the New Testament narrative, moving from Christ’s infancy and ministry to the culminating events of his Passion and Resurrection.
To this story Tissot brings an artistic and technical brilliance, an almost cinematic richness of detail, an unparalleled sense of drama, and an unprecedented degree of archeological exactness. This is not mere biblical illustration. This is the Bible as art.