Hippolyte Delaroche

Christian Martyr Drowned in the Tiber During the Reign of Diocletian

Christian Martyr Drowned in the Tiber During the Reign of Diocletian
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Author: Hippolyte Delaroche
Painting, Oil on canvas, 73.5x60 cm
Origin: France, 1853

The idea for this painting came to Delaroche during a time of severe illness. It deals with the terrible persecution suffered by Christians during the first century AD. The effective contrast of the crimson sunset and the cold, cold, greenish-blue tones of the water, with its reflections of that mystical light which illuminates the face of the martyr thrown into the Tiber with her hands tied, gives the painting a very Romantic feel. A contemporary of Delaroche, the writer Theophile Gautier, poetically described this image as that of "the Christian Ophelia" and was particularly admiring of the face "of virginal purity and divine beauty".

Source of entry: Kamennoostrovsky Palace, Leningrad, 1924
Theme: The Bible and Christianity

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