The First Nail (Le premier clou)
While Mark devotes just a single verse to the act of crucifixion, Tissot describes the process in exacting detail in four images and his accompanying published commentaries. Following first-century Roman sources, he considers the physical restraints the executioners probably employed to bind Jesus securely to the cross. He concludes that ropes must have been required, in addition to nails, to keep the elevated body from collapsing under its own weight. At right, the Virgin Mary and others look on in horror.
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Image: 7 13/16 x 12 11/16 in. (19.8 x 32.2 cm)
Sheet: 7 13/16 x 12 11/16 in. (19.8 x 32.2 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)
Signed bottom right: "J.J. Tissot"
Purchased by public subscription
1900, purchased from the artist by the Brooklyn Museum.
This item is not on view
James Tissot (Nantes, France, 1836–1902, Chenecey-Buillon, France). The First Nail (Le premier clou), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 7 13/16 x 12 11/16 in. (19.8 x 32.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.292 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.292_PS2.jpg)
overall, 00.159.292_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
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