Image Resources | Currently on View in William L. and Jane H. Fortune Gallery (H200)
Clowns, a popular motif in French art from 18th-century painter Antoine Watteau through Picasso, often appear in Rouault's work. They are his Everyman, assuming a wide range of different guises.
Much of Rouault's art and life revolved around anguished themes of sin, suffering and atonement. This image takes on the tragic features of Christ as the Man of Sorrows and expresses suffering in a universal sense. Its smoldering color and emphatic line reflect Rouault's early training in stained glass.