A photo of a Carl Bloch painting at the BYU Museum of Art
CARL HEINRICH BLOCH (1834–90), CHRIST HEALING THE SICK AT BETHESDA, 1883, OIL ON CANVAS; BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART, PURCHASED WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY JACK R. AND MARY LOIS WHEATLEY, 2001. Photo by Bradley Slade.

“Wilt thou be made whole?”

At the BYU Museum of Art (MOA), Carl Bloch’s masterpiece Christ Healing the Sick of Bethesda invites viewers to ponder this question from John 5:6. The 8′ by 12′ work has now stood as the MOA’s signature piece for 20 years. To mark its anniversary, decorative elements from the painting’s original 1883 frame are now displayed: detachable wooden scrollwork across the top and a cross at the center.

The work’s message of healing, says Ashlee Whitaker (BA ’05, MA ’08), the MOA Roy and Carol Christensen Curator of Religious Art, is “a powerful thing to have students come and sit with time and time again.” 

Watch: How did this painting end up at BYU? Watch a docuseries:

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