Eugène Delacroix - The Good Samaritan 1849-1850

Hamlet and his Mother 1849-1850 Lady Macbeth Sleepwalking 1849-1850 Michelangelo in his Studio 1849-1850 The Good Samaritan 1849-1850 The Bride of Abydos 1849-1850 Ceres 1849-1853 Perseus and Andromeda 1849-1853
The Good Samaritan 1849-1850

The Good Samaritan 1849-1850
36x29cm oil/canvas
Private collection

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The parable of the Good Samaritan is a didactic story told by Jesus in Luke 10:25–37. It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man. Jesus is described as telling the parable in response to the question from a lawyer, "And who is my neighbor ?" whom Leviticus Lev 19:18 says should be loved. In response, Jesus tells the parable, the conclusion of which is that the neighbour figure in the parable is the man who shows mercy to the injured man-- that is, the Samaritan. He then tells the lawyer to "go and do likewise." His answer corresponds to his words in the Gospel of Matthew 5:43-48, to love one's enemy.
This parable was one of the most popular in medieval art. The allegorical interpretation was often illustrated, with Christ as the Good Samaritan. Accompanying angels were sometimes also shown. In some Orthodox icons of the parable, the identification of the Good Samaritan as Christ is made explicit with a halo bearing a cross.