Skip Navigation

The Sower (Le semeur)

James Tissot

European Art

In this chapter of Matthew, Jesus teaches frequently with parables, or fables—a strategy that frustrates his disciples, who ask him why he uses this challenging method of preaching.

To explain his pedagogy, Jesus invokes yet another parable, the fable of the sower. The sower scatters his seeds on inhospitable terrain—rocky, thorny, and dry—seemingly to no effect. But many of the seeds do find fertile ground, producing a plentiful harvest. For Jesus, his words are like the seeds of the sower: accepted by those who are willing and ready to listen.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1894
    DIMENSIONS Image: 9 3/4 x 5 3/8 in. (24.8 x 13.7 cm) Sheet: 9 3/4 x 5 3/8 in. (24.8 x 13.7 cm) Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm)
    SIGNATURE Signed bottom right: "J.J. Tissot"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.119
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.