The Exhortation to the Apostles

James Tissot, The Exhortation to the Apostles, circa 1886–1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum, New York.

James Tissot (1836–1902), a French painter, painted The Exhortation to the Apostles as an opaque watercolor over graphite on gray woven paper between 1886 and 1894. The painting is a beautifully detailed portrait of Jesus speaking to his 12 chosen apostles while they each attentively listen to him. Tissot was known for two things: in the early part of his life he painted highly detailed portraits of Victorian society, and in the latter part he painted popular Bible portraits. The biblical paintings, such as this one, were done in a more relaxed, impressionistic, and decorative style, and some critics claim they were the basis for the visual style of certain Hollywood epics. Tissot was particularly adept at painting larger groups such as the one in this painting.

James Tissot, The Exhortation to the Apostles. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, circa 1886–1894.

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