The Hated Art Project

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Art 100 – Section #1019

The Hated Art Project

I selected this painting on display at the Getty Museum by French artist James Jacques Joseph Tissot, titled “What Our Savior Saw.” This exhibition included 124 watercolors selected from a set of 350 detailed illustrations of the New Testament.

I don’t know what made this particular piece standout to me, probably because at first glance, I really didn’t realize what the painting was about until I read the title and looked at it again, and then it hit me. It was more to it then people merely sitting around in an open field with a couple of Roman soldiers among them.

As I walked around with a copy of this piece in my school bag for a week or so, I often thought about what I could possibly say about this painting/artist. Also during this time, I shared this painting with a couple of people, and asked them what they thought of the piece without telling them what it depicted. One individual stated, “They look sad about something.” Another individual stated, “The people appeared shame for some reason.” Then I informed them what the piece was and they wanted to look at it again, they were quite impressed with the work after they realized what it was about.

Eventually it hit me why I was drawn to this particular painting out of all the rest. It was the fact that probably no one else thought to wonder other then Tissot, what Jesus saw, or for that matter, what exactly was on his mind as he was nailed to a cross looking down on all the people that were looking up at him. Yet in Tissot’s mind’s eye, after reading this biblical story came up with the idea to paint this portrait from the viewpoint of Jesus. I find this to be absolutely amazing to come up with this idea.

From my research, I discovered that Tissot was born in 1836, in Nantes, France , a seaport on the French coast and the son of a very prosperous, successful shopkeeper. Throughout his life, Tissot was fascinated with all things nautical, and his...
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