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The Communion of the Apostles (La communion des apôtres)

James Tissot

European Art

Establishing the sacrament of Communion—in which the bread and wine of the Passover feast come to symbolize the body and blood of Christ—Jesus himself distributes the bread to each disciple, suggesting the intimacy each of them shared with him at this solemn moment.

For the artist, this event marked not only the apostles’ liturgical initiation but also the beginning of Christ’s church on earth and the establishment of its most important tenets and rituals.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1894
    DIMENSIONS Image: 9 7/16 x 13 1/2 in. (24 x 34.3 cm) Sheet: 9 7/16 x 13 1/2 in. (24 x 34.3 cm) Frame: 16 7/8 x 22 7/8 x 1 1/2 in. (42.9 x 58.1 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed bottom right: "J.J. Tissot"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.223
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Communion of the Apostles (La communion des apôtres), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 9 7/16 x 13 1/2 in. (24 x 34.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.223 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.223_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 00.159.223_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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