Robert Field painted this on the servery door of his Dunedin house in 1929, four years after he had arrived in New Zealand under the La Trobe scheme to bring art teachers from Britain. It was an imaginative piece in which Field left the grain of the wood visible to suggest the texture of Christ's hair. The inventive character of the work and the unusual perspective were expressive of an artist who was well acquainted with contemporary developments in modern art. For example the pointillist (dotted) technique in the middle section of the work was evocative of paintings by French artist Georges Seurat. Toss Woollaston, who studied under Field in Dunedin, recalled, 'His pictures, brilliant and heady, were painted with jewel-like, full-sized brush strokes, or with rainbow-like spots and scales of pure paint shimmering on unpainted backgrounds of wood or canvas.'
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Courtesy of the Robert N. Field estate