Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery

Artist:
Vasilii Dmitriviech Polenov (Russian, St. Petersburg 1844–1927 Polenovo)
Date:
1884
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
9 1/2 x 17 in. (24.1 x 43.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Humanities Fund Inc., 1972
Accession Number:
1972.145.5
Not on view
Inscription: Dated (lower left): 1884
Boris A. Bakhmeteff, New York (probably 1930s or earlier–d. 1951); Humanities Fund Inc., New York (1951–72; gift to MMA)
St. Petersburg. location unknown. "Fifteenth Exhibition of the Peredvizhniki," February 25–March 29, 1887 [possibly shown with other studies and the final painting].

Moscow. location unknown. "Fifteenth Exhibition of the Peredvizhniki," April–?, 1887 [possibly shown with other studies and the final painting; exhibition travelled to Kharkov, Odessa, Yelisavetgrad, and Kiev].

Vitale Manin. Letter. received March 8, 1977, notes that it is an important study for the painting "Christ and the Adulteress" (Russian Museum, St. Petersburg).



This is one of numerous studies for the large painting owned by the Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (1887, 325 x 611 cm). The final picture, which took over fourteen years to complete, was shown in the Fifteenth Exhibition of the Itinerant Artists in St. Petersburg, 1887. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow owns several oil and pencil studies. A later version of the composition (1907) is in the collection of the Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

Polenov traveled to Palestine in the 1880s and produced many sketches for the final painting, in which he hoped to portray Christ as a realistic, historical figure [see Walther K. Lang, "The 'Atheism' of Jesus in Russian Art: Representations of Christ by Ivan Kramskoy, Vasily Polenov, and Nikolai Ghe," www.19thc-artworldwide.org, Autumn 2003].
Related Objects

Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin (1855–1888)

Artist: Ilia Efimovich Repin (Russian, Chuguev 1844–1930 Kuokkala) Date: 1884 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 1972.145.2 On view in:Gallery 827

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit

Artist: Henri Fantin-Latour (French, Grenoble 1836–1904 Buré) Date: 1866 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 1980.3 On view in:Gallery 824

The Love Song

Artist: Sir Edward Burne-Jones (British, Birmingham 1833–1898 Fulham) Date: 1868–77 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 47.26 On view in:Gallery 800

The Birth of Venus

Artist: Alexandre Cabanel (French, Montpellier 1823–1889 Paris) Date: 1875 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 94.24.1 On view in:Gallery 827

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds

Artist: John Constable (British, East Bergholt 1776–1837 Hampstead) Date: ca. 1825 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 50.145.8 On view in:Gallery 808