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“What is truth?” Christ and Pilate. 1890
233 х 171 Oil on canvas

In the late period of his creative work, Ge turned to the theme of the Passion 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: “… for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth“, Pontius Pilate tosses back with disregard: “What is truth?” The artist depicts Christ standing soundly against the wall like a column or a tree trunk while the rope ends lying on the floor seem to be its roots. The figure of Pilate looks unsteady on the sunlit floor and resembles a pagan idol. The main characters are divided by a bright trail of light. Leo Tolstoy wrote with delight about this painting: “There can be no peace between Christ and the world,” and “it is true to history and true to our time.”

Additional info
Historical painting
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