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.
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
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)
Signed bottom right: "J.J. Tissot"
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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
overall, 00.159.130_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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