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IIIF Actions
Robert Bateman, 1842–1922

The Pool of Bethesda

Former Title(s):

Pool of Bethesda [1876, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
20 × 29 inches (50.8 × 73.7 cm), Frame: 25 1/2 × 35 1/8 × 3 1/8 inches (64.8 × 89.2 × 7.9 cm)

Signed and dated, lower right: "R. B. 1877"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
building | chain | costume | death | door | flowers (plants) | healing (traditional) | ill | men | miracle | narrative | plants | pool | religious and mythological subject | science | sick | stairs | steps | vases | walking | woman
Associated Places:
Israel | Jerusalem | Yerushalayim, Mehoz
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Robert Bateman, a minor Pre-Raphaelite artist, enjoyed some success in Victorian London, and this painting is one of six he exhibited at the Royal Academy. The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem was believed to have miraculous healing powers with tradition asserting that an angel visited the waters, and the first person to enter the pool after the angel’s departure was sure of being cured. Biblical subjects like this provided Bateman with an opportunity to imitate fifteenth-century Italian painters, such as Piero della Francesca (ca. 1415–1492). Like other artists who worked in this Pre-Raphaelite style, he faced criticism in the press. A writer in the Athenaeum complained in May 1876 that The Pool of Bethesda featured “affections” that were virtues in earlier paintings, but were “sure to bring a clever painter of our time into contempt.”

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

The Last Romantics (Barbican Art Gallery, 1989-02-09 - 1989-04-09) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 20-21, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Nigel Daly, The lost Pre-Raphaelite : the secret life and loves of Robert Bateman, Wilmington Square Books, London, 2014, pp. 52-54, 55-60, 102, 167, figs. 18, 43, 70, 71, NJ18.B2963 D35 2014 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : a passion for British art [large print labels], , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 P381 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

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