The Disciples at Emmaus, or The Pilgrims at Emmaus (Les disciples d'Emmaüs, ou Les pèlerins d'Emmaüs)
According to the Bible, two of Christ’s disciples encountered a stranger on the road from Jerusalem immediately after the Crucifixion. At an inn at Emmaus, the stranger blessed and broke bread, an act that recalled the Last Supper and revealed him to be the resurrected Christ to the astonishment of his disciples.
Delacroix locates this miraculous apparition in a darkened interior, dramatically illuminated by Christ’s golden halo. Echoing the diagonal of the staircase, Jesus stands with a powerful backward thrust, breaking the bread with his large hands. Whereas the sprawled posture of the disciple on the right conveys the relaxation of a meal shared among friends, the disciple on the left registers the wonder of the moment. Delacroix turns the surprised disciple’s face toward Jesus, preferring to use bodily gesture—an up-flung left hand—rather than facial expression to convey amazement. In addition to shrewd compositional strategies and theatrical lighting, the artist’s characteristically loose paint handling contributes a further note of dramatic energy to the work.
- Artist: Eugène Delacroix, French, 1798-1863
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Place Made: Europe
- Dates: 1853
- Dimensions: 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (55.2 x 47 cm) Frame: 27 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. (69.9 x 62.2 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed and dated lower left: "Eug. Delacroix 1853."
- Collections:European Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 50.106
- Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798-1863). The Disciples at Emmaus, or The Pilgrims at Emmaus (Les disciples d'Emmaüs, ou Les pèlerins d'Emmaüs), 1853. Oil on canvas, 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (55.2 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman, 50.106
- Record Completeness: Best (90%)