Eugène Delacroix was the greatest representative of Romanticism in painting. Although not a practicing Christian, he frequently treated New Testament subjects, attracted by their drama and pathos, qualities favored by the Romantic movement. In this scene, Christ's disciples panic in the midst of a violent storm, while he sleeps serenely, without fear of harm. Delacroix, a great colorist, emphasizes the contrast between the icy lavenders of Christ's mantle and the luminous reds and yellows of the disciples' robes. Delacroix describes the scene as though the viewer were close to the action in order to heighten the emotion. This painting is the sketch for a composition that Delacroix repeated in three versions.