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Herod (Hérode)

James Tissot

European Art

Son of the brutal King Herod who had murdered the innocents of Bethlehem, Herod Antipas also ruled Judaea as one of the tetrarchs, or four kings, appointed by the Romans. After marrying Herodias, the widow of his late brother, he earned the scorn of John the Baptist. The Baptist’s outspoken condemnation of the marriage prompted Herod to imprison him.

Tissot depicts Herod in a colorful costume rich in its textiles and embroidered details, a distinct contrast to the simplicity of the Baptist’s camel-hair shirt and Jesus’ white cloak.

Just as the Baptist’s ministry heralded Jesus’ own ministry, so his encounter with Herod likewise foreshadowed Jesus’ fate.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1894
    DIMENSIONS Image: 6 3/16 x 3 3/16 in. (15.7 x 8.1 cm) Sheet: 6 3/16 x 3 3/16 in. (15.7 x 8.1 cm) Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 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 00.159.130
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Herod (Hérode), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 6 3/16 x 3 3/16 in. (15.7 x 8.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.130 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.130_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 00.159.130_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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