Maurice Denis (1870 - 1943), Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1894
oil on paper on cardboard on panel,
35.5 cm x 48.3 cm
Credits: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (purchased with support from the VriendenLoterij)
Denis chose a Biblical subject for this painting, but has given it a personal twist. The picture shows Christ sitting at table and breaking bread. Facing him is Denis himself. He is the disciple who has just realised the identity of his extraordinary table companion. Denis’ wife Marthe is entering the room carrying a dish.
Denis presents the Bible story in a modern setting: the inn in his own home town. Notice the contemporary rug on the floor , for example. But the composition, with its glimpses of the outside world, is inspired by early Italian frescoes. Denis also made a print based on this painting.