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Jesus Christ having been invited by a Pharisee named Simon, « Behold a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs ofher head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, ifhe were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him : for she is a sinner. »
The painter has displayed his talent, by the variety and beauty of the expressions he has given to his personages : but may he not be reproached with having put too much bustle in his composition ? What must be thought of the singularity of a repast where one of the guests is on his knees ? How is it conceivable that at a private individual's house, there should be on the sides of the room, galleries raised, where, in a manner of speaking, are personages who seem to be there only to see the repast, without sharing in it. Finally, how explain the kind of confusion that exists from the hurry with which the servants seem to bring in the dishes ? Amongst the personages placed under the portico, to the right, are discernible Jouvenet and his wife.
This picture, one of the four painted for the Abbey of SaintMartin-des-Champs, in Paris, formed part of the Exhibition of 1699 : it was placed on the side towards the river, facing that of the Traders driven from the Temple. It now is in the Paris Museum : it has been engraved by Gaspard Duchange. There is, in the Museum at Lyons, a duplicate ofit, which formed part of the series done by order of Lewis XIV.
Width, 2 r feet 3 inches ; height, 12 feet 9 inches.