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Grassi, Nicola (attributed to)
Jesus Jesus
around 1730 around 1730

This small canvas shows just the head and neck of a man and his proper right hand reaching out into the foreground. He makes a rhetorical gesture and opens his mouth to speak. This figure had previously been identified as John the Baptist, presumably delivering a sermon of repentance. However, the red garment and blue cloak all but rule out this identification, as John is almost always depicted in a rough and simple garment in natural earth tones of yellow or brown, following the Gospels’ specification of a hair shirt. The smooth features and flowing hair also counter the rougher appearance often given to the Baptist to reflect the outdoor itinerary of his mission. His expression is usually stern, consistent with his message of repentance from sin, and contrasts with the gentle facial expression here. Instead, this painting very likely represents Jesus, with the colours of his clothing following the traditional references—red for the Passion and blue for Heaven, or Divine dominion. The view from below indicates that it was meant to be placed high up on a wall, likely as part of a larger decorative ensemble.

 
Grassi, Nicola (attributed to)
Formeaso di Zuglio, Italy 1682-Venice, Italy c. 1750 Formeaso di Zuglio, Italy 1682-Venice, Italy c. 1750
Jesus Jesus
around 1730 around 1730
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
height / width: 38.10 x 32.70 cm; 15.00 x 12.87 in.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Bader, 1980 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Bader, 1980
23-033

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