The Good Samaritan

Paula Modersohn-Becker, The Good Samaritan, 1907. Oil and tempera on canvas, Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen, Germany.

Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907) was a groundbreaking German expressionist painter. Known as a pioneer of modern European art, she is recognized as the first female artist to paint female nudes. Modersohn-Becker developed a distinctive textural style of painting that entailed scratching into the heavily applied wet paint to achieve a finish much like bas relief. The work shown here illustrates the parable of the Good Samaritan. The beaten and robbed traveler is seen lying in a field under an apple tree; the Good Samaritan kneels at his side to offer assistance. On the path behind them are two men who look the other way. Modersohn-Becker died tragically from an embolism at age 31, just a few weeks after giving birth to her only child.

Paula Modersohn-Becker, The Good Samaritan. Oil and tempera on canvas, 1907.

Before the Common Era; a notation used in place of B.C. ("before Christ") for years before the current calendar era.

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