The Bad Rich Man in Hell (Le mauvais riche dans l'Enfer)
In this parable, a rich man upon his death is sent to hell for ignoring the needs of a certain beggar named Lazarus (a character distinct from the man Jesus later resurrects), who had pleaded at his door for scraps and subsequently died. Now, as the rich man beseeches Abraham for relief from his sufferings, the Old Testament patriarch castigates him for his greed and his lack of charity during his lifetime.
Here Tissot imaginatively creates a powerful image of the rich man’s descent into a smoky and shadowy netherworld, while the beggar Lazarus, now protected by the Old Testament patriarch, sits on Abraham’s shoulder.
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Image: 8 13/16 x 5 3/16 in. (22.4 x 13.2 cm)
Sheet: 8 13/16 x 5 3/16 in. (22.4 x 13.2 cm)
Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed top left: "J.J. Tissot"
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Purchased by public subscription
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James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Bad Rich Man in Hell (Le mauvais riche dans l'Enfer), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 8 13/16 x 5 3/16 in. (22.4 x 13.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.136 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.136_PS2.jpg)
overall, 00.159.136_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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