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Georges Rouault, French, 1871 - 1958

Made in France, Europe

c. 1938

Oil on canvas

19 3/8 x 15 7/8 inches (49.2 x 40.3 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 267, Modern and Contemporary Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White Collection, 1967

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Heavily applied pigments, dense black outlines, and radiant hues are the hallmarks of Georges Rouault’s expressionistic style. In this Crucifixion scene—one of several painted by the artist in the long span of his career—these elements become visual metaphors for Christ’s sacrificed flesh, the torture he endured on the cross, and the promise of worldwide salvation through his ultimate resurrection. Rouault, a devout Catholic, also extended his study of human sorrow beyond religious imagery to depictions of modern society, as in his portrayals of melancholy clowns and downtrodden prostitutes.


With Galerie Drouant-David, Paris; sold to Samuel S. White, 3rd (1876-1952), Ardmore, PA, after August 1944 [1]; bequest of Vera White (Mrs. Samuel S. White, 3rd) to PMA, 1967. 1. A Drouant-David label on the back of the painting is marked "Mr. S. S. White". White must have purchased the painting after August 16, 1944, when he wrote to James T. Soby at MoMA, organizer of the 1945 Rouault retrospective, that he owned three oils by Rouault, none of which were the "Christ" (copy of letter in curatorial file).

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