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Painting of Christ and Pilate by Nikolay Ge

“What is Truth?”

Nikolay Ge

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Russian artist Nikolay Nikolayevich Ge (1831–1894) is best known for his realist paintings of biblical subjects. Ge painted “What is Truth?” late in life after befriending author Leo Tolstoy. The painting was banned from exhibition for blasphemy. Delighted with the work, Tolstoy wrote, “There can be no peace between Christ and the world.…this is true to history and true to our own day.”

Painting of Christ and Pilate by Nikolay Ge

Nikolay Nikolayevich Ge, “What is Truth?” Christ and Pilate, 1890. Image from Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

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