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Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery

Photo credit: The Courtauld Gallery

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Grisaille or painting in shades of grey was traditionally used to decorate the outside of the folding panels of altarpieces. Bruegel has used it here in an exquisite display of skill, to be treasured by a private collector.

Watched by his disciples, Christ writes on the ground that he who is free of sin should cast the first stone at an adulterous woman. This biblical story challenged hypocrisy as well as demonstrating the virtue of mercy.

The Courtauld Gallery

London

  • Date

    1565

  • Medium

    oil on panel

  • Measurements

    24.1 x 34.4 cm

  • Accession number

    P.1978.PG.48

  • Acquisition method

    Princes Gate bequest, 1978

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The Courtauld Gallery

Somerset House, Strand, London, Greater London WC2R 0RN England

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