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Henry Fuseli, 1741–1825

Christ Disappearing at Emmaus [1792, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Former Title(s):

Christ appearing in Cleophas and his travelling companions at Emmaus

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
56 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches (143.5 x 118.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
apostles | appearances of Christ after the Resurrection | Christ vanishes ~ supper at Emmaus | men | New Testament | religious and mythological subject | table
Associated Places:
Ad Daffah al Gharbiyah | Emmaus | Israel
Associated People:
Jesus Christ (7–2 BC/BCE to 30–36 AD/CE)
Luke the Evangelist
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

According to the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus walked the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus with two of his disciples on the day of his resurrection. Despondent at his recent death, they did not recognize the resurrected Jesus until later that evening when he broke bread with them at the table, and they recalled him saying: “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry.” Jesus then disappeared from their sight. Although the “Supper at Emmaus” had long been a traditional subject for artists, Henry Fuseli’s painting is unusual in its treatment of the biblical story, as it shows Christ in the act of disappearing once he revealed himself to his disciples. While earlier paintings focus on the meal and the joyous moment of Christ’s revelation, the disciples in Fuseli’s painting are seemingly bereft, in darkness and in despair, as Christ vanishes from their presence.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Fuseli - Drama and Theatre (Kunstmuseum Basel, 2018-10-20 - 2019-02-10) [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. 96-97, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 19, ND466 G67 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Gert Schiff, L'Opera Completa di Fussli, Rizzoli, Milan, 1977, p. 94, no. 94, NJ18 F98 A12 S34 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

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