Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery

Follower of Hieronymus Bosch, Netherlandish, c. 1450 - 1516

Made in Netherlands (historical name, 15th-16th century), Europe

16th century

Oil on panel

29 7/8 x 22 inches (75.9 x 55.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Inv. 353

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

Social Tags [?]

jesus [x]  

[Add Your Own Tags]


This work is likely the only copy after a Bosch original of the scene from chapter eight of the Gospel of John. A young man has escorted an adulteress before Christ, who has written on the ground the inscription, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

Bosch undertook to paint religious subjects on commission not only for the church, but also for such great patrons as Philip IV, Duke of Burgundy and Hendrick II, Count of Nassau. Bosch's fantastic and sophisticated imagery conveyed a somewhat pessimistic, moralizing message and a personal, imaginative spirituality. These characteristics were consistent with the Devotio Moderna movement—then flourishing in the Low Countries—which focused on an individual's inner life, stressed the importance of meditation, and encouraged a personal relationship with God.