Skip Navigation

Jesus Unrolls the Book in the Synagogue (Jésus dans la synagogue déroule le livre)

James Tissot

European Art

In Luke’s telling, Jesus returns to Nazareth, the town of his childhood, and goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Reading a passage from Isaiah, he declares himself the fulfillment of the prophet’s words, as the means of redemption and healing for the marginalized, afflicted, and oppressed. Those gathered in the synagogue react with wonder to find the prophecy realized in one of their own—“Joseph’s son,” as the group calls him. However, Jesus warns that his path promises hardship, even among friends: “No prophet is accepted in his country.”

Tissot pays particular attention to the costumes of the worshippers and the setting of the synagogue. Note the shawls worn by those at prayer as well as the elaborate silver ornaments for the Torah from which Jesus reads.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1894
    DIMENSIONS Image: 10 11/16 x 7 9/16 in. (27.1 x 19.2 cm) Sheet: 10 11/16 x 7 9/16 in. (27.1 x 19.2 cm) Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed bottom near left: "J.J. Tissot"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.71
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Jesus Unrolls the Book in the Synagogue (Jésus dans la synagogue déroule le livre), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 10 11/16 x 7 9/16 in. (27.1 x 19.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.71 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.71_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 00.159.71_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.