Eugène Burnand (1850-1921)
This is in the Musee d'Orsay
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"The Parables"

Burnand did not like the religious illustrations that he was familiar with, and felt he could make an important contribution to religious art by providing illustrations for religious texts that depicted scenes from real life to reinforce the everyday relevance of the stories and messages, in keeping with his protestantism. As an artist of realism he used places and characters he knew with the right atmosphere to illustrate the texts without symbolism. His enterprise came to fruition when his series of pictures was published in "Les Paraboles" for French publishers Berger-Levrault after three years of work in 1908. It became very popular, was constantly reprinted, and was also published in German, and in Protestant and Catholic editions. There was also an English edition. The example I found was published as late as 1948. The format of the French edition was a long foreword by Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé followed by 32 parables and 76 illustrations, each in a separate chapter with text taken directly from Bible. It is probable that in France, and certainly in Germany, Burnand was best known amongst the general public for "Les Paraboles".

There were 84 pictures in all and he used a unique personal method to produce them. The foundation or base consisted of a Conté crayon drawing with strongly applied charcoal. He then went over this framework with a colour wash, with Indian ink, with gouache and then heightened the whole with red chalk and some added tones of red or yellow coloured pencils. Only a small number were printed in colour.

I have put each chapter with its illustration(s) on a separate page here, in the same order as the book. The titles are the ones that are usual in English descriptions.


The Parables

"But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples." (Mark 4,34.)

    The House Built on Rock
    The Sower
    The Tares
    The Mustard Seed
    The Leaven
    The Hidden Treasure
    The Pearl of Great Price
    The Net
    The Unmerciful Servant
    The Good Samaritan
    The Good Shepherd
    The Importunate Neighbour
    The Rich Fool
    The Waiting Servants
    The Barren Fig Tree
    The Great Banquet
    The Lost Sheep
    The Lost Coin
    The Prodigal Son
    The Dishonest Steward
    The Rich Man and Lazarus
    The Unworthy Servants
    The Unjust Judge
    The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
    The Labourers in the Vineyard
    The Two Sons
    The Wicked Vinedressers
    The Wedding Feast
    The Ten Virgins
    The Talents
    The Sheep and the Goats
    The Vine and its Branches