The Raising of the Cross (L'élévation de la Croix)
Tissot renders the technical elements of the Crucifixion with a profusion of unforgettable details intended to encourage viewers to contemplate the method of Christ’s execution on a visceral level. Although Tissot follows celebrated artistic predecessors such as the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) in his depiction of the brute physical exertions required of those who raised the cross, he also adds further nuances to the visual tradition, depicting the elaborate system of ropes, poles, and scaffolding employed in the operation. Once in place, Tissot explains, the base of the cross would be set into a post hole and then reinforced with wedges to maintain its stability.
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Image: 9 15/16 x 14 9/16 in. (25.2 x 37 cm)
Sheet: 9 15/16 x 14 9/16 in. (25.2 x 37 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"
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James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Raising of the Cross (L'élévation de la Croix), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 9 15/16 x 14 9/16 in. (25.2 x 37 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.294 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.294_PS2.jpg)
overall, 00.159.294_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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