Rodolphe Bresdin was known in his time as "Chien-Caillou" after the impoverished artist who served as the protagonist in an 1845 novel with the same title.
This is a highly original treatment of the biblical story of a Jewish man who had been beaten, stripped, robbed, and left for dead, and the Samaritan who helped him. This kind act is all the more heroic considering the great hatred between the Samaritans and Jews (each claimed to be the exclusive descendants of Abraham and Moses). The small scene in the center of the large sheet is surrounded by an exuberant landscape teeming with an unrealistic assortment of tropical and nontropical plants and a variety of peering animals. Bresdin used a pen and lithographic ink to detail the fauna and flora of his extraordinary imagination. However, these bizarre visions were appreciated during his lifetime by only a select circle primarily comprising inventive writers such as Victor Hugo (1802–1885) and Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867).
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