Christ and His Disciples on the Sea of Galilee (Primary Title)

Henry Ossawa Tanner, American, 1859 - 1937 (Artist)

ca. 1910
American
oil on artist's canvas board
United States
Unframed: 10 × 14 in. (25.4 × 35.56 cm)
Framed: 15 1/4 × 19 1/4 × 1 5/8 in. (38.74 × 48.9 × 4.13 cm)
2002.514

To capture the mystery and drama of the story of Christ calming the waters, Tanner created this small but powerful image. Frightened passengers brace themselves against the roiling sea in the bottom of the boat. Before them, a nearly transparent figure of Jesus stands with outstretched arms as distant clouds begin to break.

The Pittsburgh-born Tanner had exhibited to great acclaim at the prestigious Paris Salon for almost a decade by the time he produced this scene. As an African American artist, his professional acceptance in the United States was hampered by racial restrictions. “I cannot fight prejudice and paint,” he announced before departing for Europe in 1891.

signed, lower left: "H. O. Tanner"
manufacturer's sticker: "Favor, Ruhl & Co.'s 'Vandyke'"
pencil on verso: "To Mr. Hodge - / 3746 Ellis Ave. / Chicago Il"
J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
2021-2022 "Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters and France", Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, November 14, 2021 - March 13, 2022; VMFA, April 16 - July 31, 2022
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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