Skip Navigation

The Disciples at Emmaus, or The Pilgrims at Emmaus (Les disciples d'Emmaüs, ou Les pèlerins d'Emmaüs)

Eugène Delacroix

European Art

According to the Bible, two of Christ’s disciples encountered a stranger on the road from Jerusalem immediately after the Crucifixion. At an inn at Emmaus, the stranger blessed and broke bread, an act that recalled the Last Supper and revealed him to be the resurrected Christ to the astonishment of his disciples.

Delacroix locates this miraculous apparition in a darkened interior, dramatically illuminated by Christ’s golden halo. Echoing the diagonal of the staircase, Jesus stands with a powerful backward thrust, breaking the bread with his large hands. Whereas the sprawled posture of the disciple on the right conveys the relaxation of a meal shared among friends, the disciple on the left registers the wonder of the moment. Delacroix turns the surprised disciple’s face toward Jesus, preferring to use bodily gesture—an up-flung left hand—rather than facial expression to convey amazement. In addition to shrewd compositional strategies and theatrical lighting, the artist’s characteristically loose paint handling contributes a further note of dramatic energy to the work.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES 1853
    DIMENSIONS 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (55.2 x 47 cm) Frame: 27 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. (69.9 x 62.2 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower left: "Eug. Delacroix 1853."
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

    The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

    The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    CAPTION Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798-1863). The Disciples at Emmaus, or The Pilgrims at Emmaus (Les disciples d'Emmaüs, ou Les pèlerins d'Emmaüs), 1853. Oil on canvas, 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (55.2 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman, 50.106
    IMAGE x-ray, CONS.50.106_1962_xrs_view1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 1962
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.