Years ago I began looking for powerful images that depict the life of faith for use in worship in our small Vermont Church. Frequently I found individual works by James Tissot, and curious to find more I began to explore books and the internet. To my disappointment there were very few books containing more than a few of Tissot's stunning paintings, and I discovered that his works had not been on display in any significant number for many years. So I was extremely excited to discover the exhibit of more than 100 of his illustrations at the Brooklyn Museum.
Saturday October 24th my wife and I went to view the exhibit of Tissot's Life of Christ organized by Judith Dolkart. Never have I witnessed a more moving and thoughtful portrayal of Jesus birth, ministry, passion and resurrection. The descriptions with each work were exceptional, briefly telling the story illustrated, exploring the paintings, reflecting on the artist's process as explained in his own commentaries. I would urge anyone interested in the life of Jesus to come and spend a couple of hours. Take your time and read the stories, look into the paintings,and search your heart. Mine was deeply moved. I can see why people at the original exhibitions of these works wept before them. My profound thanks to the Brooklyn Museum and to Judith Dolkart! Friend, do not miss this exceptional opportunity and touching exhibition! You may want to take a preview at [...]
Now for the exhibit catalog! This stunningly beautiful 302 page treasure is alive with with high quality full color reproductions of the paintings about half the size of the originals. The end papers of the book are huge and dramatic depictions of Jerusalem. Each section features a breathtaking full page detail of one of the paintings.
Exhibit Curator Judith Dolkart and David Morgan from Duke University provide intriguing articles about Tissot's life journey, his process for creating this series, the interesting role of this collection in the growth and development of the Brooklyn Museum, and the chapter in American Religious life created by Tissot's Bible. I expect to spend many hours savoring the prints and exploring the story told so richly by each painting.
Are there limitations to Tissot's effort to capture the Bible as it happened? Of course. Yet for anyone wanting to explore the life of Jesus imaginatively and emotionally in its beauty and courage, richness and depth, traveling the pilgrimage in this book will be a profound blessing! The quality images of Tissot's extensive New Testament works from cover to cover make this book a gem!