Christ Asleep during the Tempest

Artist: Eugène Delacroix (French, Charenton-Saint-Maurice 1798–1863 Paris)

Date: ca. 1853

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.100.131

Description

Delacroix painted at least six 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."

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