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The Life of Jesus, told in a series of woodcuts by artist James Reid (1907 -1989). Wordless picture book.

According to biographers, Philadelphia-born illustrator James Reid gained notoriety for his woodcut illustrations in the years just prior to the Great Depression. His work was regarded as highly sophisticated and emotive. This work, published by the Farrar & Rinehart publishing house in New York, had very good commercial success. His second book, an illustration of the Song of Songs, did not fare well in the declining economy, and so Reid did not produce any more illustrated books. He worked successfully as a commercial artist for the rest of his life.


This bold Expressionist example shows only the figures of Jesus and John standing in the Jordan. Jesus bows his head to John, who pours the water over Jesus with his hands. John wears only a pelt around his waist, and Jesus is wearing a tunic. A very subtle radiance surrounds the head of Jesus. John has a very stern appearance here; the darkness of the print around his face is somewhat haunting.