The Christian Martyr
Date: c. 1855
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 21 x 18 in. (53.3 x 45.7 cm) frame: 34 1/2 × 32 in. (87.6 × 81.3 cm)
Credit Line: Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935
Object Number: 1935-6
About: In a rare collecting foray into French art, Samuel Bancroft purchased this replica of a famous subject by the Salon painter, Delacroix. The scene depicts one of the many Christians who were martyred – in this case by drowning -- during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Contemporary art historians have linked this subject to 19th century portrayals of death scenes, such as that of Ophelia which was addressed by the Pre-Raphaelite painters.
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