Christ Healing the Deaf-Mute

This painting depicts a river passing through a wooded landscape as human figures, dwarfed by the towering trees, move along its banks. The majestic landscape dominates the painting, but a group of four men in the right foreground also competes for attention since the bright, saturated primary colors of their robes stand out sharply against the muted tonalities of their surroundings. One of the men, wearing a blue cloak, places his left finger in the mouth of a man kneeling before him and touches the side of his head with his right hand. A third man leans forward to touch the kneeling figure's shoulder while the fourth, in a magnificent red cloak, raises his hands in astonishment.
Philippe de Champaigne
c. 1650-1660
On a riverbank in a forested landscape, Christ heals a deaf and mute man while two apostles look on in astonishment (Mark 7:32-34). Some of the other apostles emerge from the trees behind them, and other figures are visible on a path in the background an in the water near the opposite bank. The subtle yet saturated colors and masterful rendition of light and atmosphere imbue the surrounding landscape with a quiet grandeur that complements the drama of Christ’s miracle.
Museum Purchase
Sunday, December 16, 2018