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“What is truth?” Christ and Pilate. 1890
233 х 171 Oil on canvas Main Building, Hall 31

In the late period of his work, Ge was inspired by the subject of the Passions of Christ. The subject of this painting is taken from the 18th chapter of the Gospel according to John. In response to the words of Christ: “I…came into the world to bear witness about the truth…” – Pontius Pilate tosses back with disregard “And what is the truth?” Christ is depicted against the background of a monolithic wall, standing like a column or tree trunk, and on the floor we see the ends of rope which resemble its roots. The figure of Pilate on the field illumined by the sun looks unsteady and seems to be a pagan idol. The main characters are divided by a bright field of light. Lev Tolstoy wrote with delight of this painting: “There can be no peace between Christ and the world,” and “this is true to history and true to our own day.”

Additional info
Historical painting
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