Artist: Jehan Georges Vibert
Completion Date: c.1883
Genre: genre painting
Gallery: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Vibert is best known for his satirical scenes from ecclesiastical life. Here he draws a contrast between the inspired and modest missionary and the prelates in the midst of their comforts. The cardinals lounging on the sofa and purple-robed bishop savoring his tea are indifferent to the monk's account of his mission and to the wound he received carrying it out. Ribera's terrifying "Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew" (Museo del Prado, Madrid), on the wall in this luxurious interior, adds a harsh note of irony to the scene below it.