James Taylor Harwood (1860-1940), Come Ye after Me (Study), 1904, oil on canvas, 18 ½ x 15 3/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1937.
Christ’s timeless invitation “Come Ye After Me” (Mark 1:17) is a summons to us all. Set along the Galilean shoreline, this painting shows Christ addressing Simon Peter and Andrew as they labor aboard their fishing boat. With penetrating gaze, the Savior beckons them to leave their nets and follow Him. Recognizing Christ’s extraordinary presence and the gravity of the calling, both brothers “forsook their nets,” leaving their considerable livelihood to “straightaway him” (Mark 1:18, Matthew 4:20). April 8th was James Taylor Harwood’s birthday, and he painted this work in 1904 during a stay in Paris. It is a precursor to an impressionist-style painting that was commissioned by the Deseret Sunday School Union in the early 1920s.