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James Tissot: The Life of Christ Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Merrell Publishers; 01 edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858944961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858944968
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 3.3 x 28.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


All 350 watercolours depicting the life of Christ are reproduced in this exquisite volume, which lovers of Victorian art will appreciate for their realist and ethereal quality --The Bookseller

About the Author

JUDITH F. DOLKART is Associate Curator, European Art, at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. DAVID MORGAN is Professor of Religion at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. AMY SITAR is a PhD student in the Department of Religion at Princeton University, New Jersey.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My dad picked up some old 'The Life of our Lord Jesus Christ' books. Being an art lover, since then I wanted some as well but could not find them for a bargain price. Then I stumbled upon this book and pondered over it for a while then ordered it. I am very happy I did. Excellent size and good quality paper with good quality images. If I had purchased the original books the art would not look so good. I soon realized some of the artwork looked familiar and the style also but just put it down to seeing some of the art before in my fathers books.

I then decided I want a Tissot Bible. Upon looking for a Tissot I found a Catholic bible and was shocked to realize it was a bible I already have but not yet read. I already have a Tissot bible lol, before my Dad even got his books!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 9 Nov. 2009
By Marshall R. Hudson-knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago I began looking for powerful images that depict the life of faith for use in worship in our small Vermont Church. Frequently I found individual works by James Tissot, and curious to find more I began to explore books and the internet. To my disappointment there were very few books containing more than a few of Tissot's stunning paintings, and I discovered that his works had not been on display in any significant number for many years. So I was extremely excited to discover the exhibit of more than 100 of his illustrations at the Brooklyn Museum.

Saturday October 24th my wife and I went to view the exhibit of Tissot's Life of Christ organized by Judith Dolkart. Never have I witnessed a more moving and thoughtful portrayal of Jesus birth, ministry, passion and resurrection. The descriptions with each work were exceptional, briefly telling the story illustrated, exploring the paintings, reflecting on the artist's process as explained in his own commentaries. I would urge anyone interested in the life of Jesus to come and spend a couple of hours. Take your time and read the stories, look into the paintings,and search your heart. Mine was deeply moved. I can see why people at the original exhibitions of these works wept before them. My profound thanks to the Brooklyn Museum and to Judith Dolkart! Friend, do not miss this exceptional opportunity and touching exhibition! You may want to take a preview at [...]

Now for the exhibit catalog! This stunningly beautiful 302 page treasure is alive with with high quality full color reproductions of the paintings about half the size of the originals. The end papers of the book are huge and dramatic depictions of Jerusalem. Each section features a breathtaking full page detail of one of the paintings.

Exhibit Curator Judith Dolkart and David Morgan from Duke University provide intriguing articles about Tissot's life journey, his process for creating this series, the interesting role of this collection in the growth and development of the Brooklyn Museum, and the chapter in American Religious life created by Tissot's Bible. I expect to spend many hours savoring the prints and exploring the story told so richly by each painting.

Are there limitations to Tissot's effort to capture the Bible as it happened? Of course. Yet for anyone wanting to explore the life of Jesus imaginatively and emotionally in its beauty and courage, richness and depth, traveling the pilgrimage in this book will be a profound blessing! The quality images of Tissot's extensive New Testament works from cover to cover make this book a gem!
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars complete series of 350 paintings with essays 9 Dec. 2009
By Henry Berry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
James Tissot (1833-1902) was a nineteenth-century French painter who for the first part of his career had a reputation as a "French society painter [whose subjects were] the costumes and manners, occupations and pleasures of the French capital's elegantes." This all changed in the early 1890s when Tissot renewed his ties to the Catholicism of his youth after experiencing a vision during a Mass when the priest raised the host. For the rest of his life, he devoted himself to the series of religious paintings numbering in the hundreds given here. Tissot's lasting reputation rests on this series The Life of Christ on all periods of Jesus Christ's life from the Annunciation to the Resurrection.

Books reproducing this series were published in France and the United States. In 1900 after a tour in the U.S., the complete series came into the possession of the Brooklyn Museum.

Tissot's paintings were popular not only for their religious subject coinciding with a rise in religious feelings and interests in late Victorian-era America and pre-World War I Europe, but also for their straightforward style. The paintings are in an illustration style; similar to ones seen in periodicals and illustrated books of the period. They reflect no inklings of impressionism or any of the other budding modern art styles of Tissot's day. One sees in them some harbingers of the art of N. C. Wyeth and other illustrators of the following decades. In Tissot's paintings though one occasionally sees symbols such as pale, ghostly hands reaching across a pool of water or dark wings for Satan; and occasionally an aura around Jesus's head. But the effects of the paintings are mostly in the coloration creating mood, poses (often dramatic) of the central figures, and the setting of the scene as if in a play.

An appreciative and enthusiastic public was attracted to Tissot's paintings by their details of "landscape, architecture, vegetation, costumes, and customs of the Holy Land." This gave the paintings an exotic appearance arousing curiosity and myriad points of interest with their evocation of spirituality.

Tissot's aim was to "revivify the imagination of modern Europeans and Americans by depicting the life of Jesus in scenes that departed from visual conventions, but not entirely." The sheer number of paintings picturing incidents from the life of Christ and also related Holy Land scenes and figures was a visual biography which was as educating as it was visually engaging. With the hundreds of paintings grouped into major parts of the life of Christ (e. g., The Ministry, The Passion) mostly two to a page, today's readers can have the same experience. Essays preceding the sections of paintings go into the social context making Tissot's project such a sensation in its day and also how it was eventually acquired despite some opposition on financial and religious grounds by the Brooklyn museum.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Religious Art Compelling 23 Jan. 2010
By R. Stuart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the realistic detail in many of Tissot's watercolors, based on his travels to Palestine.
At the same time the watercolors remind me of the kind of stylized Sunday School art I knew as a
child. That is not to denigrate Tissot's work but for me to place it in a context, depicting the
life of Christ. I responded with curiosity to religious art as a child. As an adult I am drawn
to Tissot's work reflectively, with an eye for his art in its religious expression. The two are
not contradictory, art and relgious expresson considering the association from centuries
past. Only in our more secular age is it perhaps given short shrift. Or that may be to speak also
of style considering Tissot from late 19th century into the 20th. Regardless, these
watercolors both remind the viewer of an earlier form, and are in themselves a compelling current
expression of the relgious in artistic representation.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Collection 1 Jun. 2010
By Erwin Koenig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you are checking out this book... buy it! Do not wait a minute longer. You will love it!Tissot's work is a unique and thorough representation of the life of Jesus Christ shown in glorious and graphic detail!

"James Tissot's: The Life Of Christ" contains the complete collection of Tissot's 350 watercolors detailing scenes from the gospels and the life of Christ!
Tissot was a French painter of the 19th century better known for his works of the French 'social scene' rather than any religious works but after Tissot took a trip to the Holy Land something happened. Tissot had to record his version of the life of Christ and he did so in a series of drawings and watercolors. It took ten years to complete this project: hundreds of drawings as well as the 350 watercolors.

When Tissot exhibited his work... "The Life Of Christ" became the talk of the town and the critics and the public on both sides of the Atlantic praised him for his total realistic approach to his depiction of Christ and his times. In exquisite detail Tissot 'rigorously captures the archeological and ethnographic details of the time.' In other words he painted the people and their environment as they were during Christs lifetime... not the idealized version so common in the works of many of the Old Masters.
Tissot's "Life Of Christ" consists of five parts: The Holy Childhood, The Ministry, Holy Week, The Passion and finally The Resurrection.
Each part contains beautiful illustrations... but some of the best art is in the Passion sequence. Here Tissot exhibits all of the anguish of Christ's last days; his suffering, his compassion, his pain- and his death!
The picture 'Jesus meeting his mother' is overwhelming; Mary's anguish at having to watch helplessly as her son staggers with the weight of that cross.

The pictures alone are worth the price of the book... but the essays are extremely helpful in understanding the total scope of Tissot's project. Judith Dolkart does an excellent job detailing the information in a most readable and enjoyable text.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tissot was a very fine if facile artist as this monumental project shows 22 Mar. 2015
By John Mariani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tissot was a very fine if facile artist as this monumental project shows. Some of the works are mere illustration but others are first rate religious art. The originals are all at the Brooklyn Museum of Art but, sadly, not on display.
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