Christ Asleep during the Tempest, ca. 1853
Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863)
Oil on canvas; 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.131)
Delacroix painted fourteen versions of this New Testament lesson in faith: when awakened by his terrified disciples, Christ scolded them for their lack of trust in Providence. In the earlier works, the seascape is more prominent; in the later ones, as here, Christ’s bark occupies a more significant place. After Vincent van Gogh saw this version in Paris in 1886, he wrote, "Christ’s boat—I’m talking about the blue and green sketch with touches of purple and red and a little lemon yellow for the halo, the aureole—speak a symbolic language through color itself."