By the late 1930s Rouault seemed less interested in representing judges, creating only a handful of works on this subject, so prevalent in his oeuvre between 1910 and 1919. In these later paintings the judges' expressions of belligerence changed to calm benevolence. As in his many close-up views of Christ flanked by two acolytes, Rouault arranged this trio of judges cheek to cheek, as if for a group portrait. Their eyes are closed. Rouault applied many layers of pigment, a technique he began to use in the early 1930s. With its thick black outlines, the painting has the effect of a stained-glass window.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): G.Rouault
Frederick and Helen Serger, New York (until his d. 1965); Helen Serger, New York (1965–d. 1989; her bequest to MMA)
New York. La Boetie. "Georges Rouault," November 2–December 4, 1965, no. 10 (as "Trois Juges," lent by a private collection).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 112).
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 68.
Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 68.
Chestnut Hill, Mass. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Mystic Masque: Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871–1958," August 30–December 7, 2008, no. 54.
Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1990–1991." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49 (Fall 1991), p. 64, ill., dates it about 1937–39.