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The Savior

ca. 1900-1905 Henry Ossawa Tanner Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1859 Died: Paris, France 1937 oil on canvas mounted to plywood 29 1/8 x 21 3/4 in. (73.9 x 55.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robbins 1983.95.191 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 11B


Luce Center Label

The story of Christ’s crucifixion occupied Henry Ossawa Tanner’s mind throughout his career. The Savior shows Jesus meditating as he waits for his crown of thorns and purple robe, in which he would be mocked as the “King of the Jews.” Tanner portrayed him as a real person in contemplation and prayer rather than as an idealized figure. But the yellow color in his face and outlining his profile is like a glowing light that suggests Christ’s uniqueness as a spiritual being, able to transcend flesh and blood.

Keywords

Portrait male - Christ

Religion - New Testament - Christ

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

wood - plywood

About Henry Ossawa Tanner

Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1859 Died: Paris, France 1937

More works in the collection by
Henry Ossawa Tanner