The Evil Counsel (Le mauvais conseil)
In John’s account, the Pharisees seek the counsel of the chief priest Caiaphas, fearful that Jesus’ growing ministry will provoke the wrath of the Romans and thereby jeopardize the Jewish nation. For the sake of political expediency, Caiaphas urges the priests to find a way to kill Jesus.
Tissot emphasizes the clandestine nature of the meeting by placing the participants at the top of the stair, at a distance from the viewer, a rare compositional strategy. Their turned backs and black hoods accentuate the sense of conspiracy.
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Image: 10 3/8 x 7 1/8 in. (26.4 x 18.1 cm)
Sheet: 10 3/8 x 7 1/8 in. (26.4 x 18.1 cm)
Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed bottom left: "J.J. Tissot"
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James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Evil Counsel (Le mauvais conseil), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 10 3/8 x 7 1/8 in. (26.4 x 18.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.187 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.187_PS2.jpg)
overall, 00.159.187_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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