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ITALIAN SCHOOL. 066ccccccc GIOV. BELLINI.500- PRIVATE COLLECTION
JESUS CHRIST A EMMAUS.
The holy women had brought to Jerusalem the news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but several of the disciples doubted it. Two of the latter were going to Emmaus, when the Son of God met and accompanied them, without discovering himself. They constrained him to tarry where they stopt, and he sat at table with them. Then, according to the Gospel, «He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him.» This is the instant which Giovanni Bellini has represented. He has introduced in his composition two personages, one of whom is clearly a servant bringing in some dish ; as to the other, who is kneeling down with his hands joined, and who is clothed in black, it is the portrait of the painter himself, which is found here, only in consequence of those frequent licences of the masters of his time.
The expressions of the heads are very beautiful and greatly varied. In those of the disciples, is seen a mixture of joy and surprise perfectly well expressed : that of our Saviour is very remarkable for its mildness and affability: they have the more effect from the picture having an illumined back-ground, the figures are thus thrown off in an astonishing manner. The colouring of this picture is very fine : it has been never engraved.
Width, 6 feet 6 inches; height, 3 feet 5 inches.