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The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (La multiplicité des pains)

James Tissot

European Art

As news of Jesus’ teachings and deeds spread, his followers grew in number. Without adequate provisions to feed them, Jesus gathers five loaves and two fishes from a young boy in this large company, and after giving thanks to God, distributes them, managing to feed all who are hungry.

Tissot offers an expansive view of the scene, one so broad that it becomes difficult to distinguish Jesus himself, at the upper right. However, this compositional strategy emphasizes the magnitude of the miracle as well as the multitude of Jesus’ followers, who fill the paths of the terraced hills.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1896
    DIMENSIONS Image: 7 3/8 x 10 9/16 in. (18.7 x 26.8 cm) Sheet: 7 3/8 x 10 9/16 in. (18.7 x 26.8 cm) Frame: 15 x 20 x 1 1/2 in. (38.1 x 50.8 x 3.8 cm)
    SIGNATURE Signed bottom right: "J.J. Tissot"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.134
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
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