91.2 cm x 72.1 cm (35 7/8 in. x 28 3/8 in.)
(St. Petersburg, Russia, 1899 - 1972, Rome, Italy)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991
"Le Blessé" is one of several paintings depicting the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan that Eugene Berman produced in 1930. These nocturnal scenes of two figures aiding a third, illuminated by a brightly lit doorway, were likely inspired by a painting on the same theme--then attributed to Rembrandt--on view at the Louvre Museum when Berman was living in Paris.
The Bible story’s message to “love your neighbor as yourself ” apparently resonated strongly with Berman; as a Russian Jew, he was subject to the increased xenophobia and anti-Semitism that the looming economic depression brought to France. Berman immigrated to the United States in the mid-1930s and began a successful career as a theatrical set designer. The architecture in this painting anticipates Berman’s stage designs, as the layered and receding forms of the buildings highlight the dramatic action taking place in the foreground.