Rembrandt on Jesus

June 16, 2011

Traveling to Paris or
Philadelphia this summer, or Detroit this fall? You may want to consider taking
in the exhibit on "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus."

While many of the works
will be familiar to Century readers, the experience of seeing them
in one place is rewarding, and it offers the viewer an understanding of
Rembrandt's investment in his faith (Protestant) and his art. Rembrandt lived in
a time that nourished his personal, creative research of the Christ. The
17th-century Dutch were interested in the biblical past and the
ancient Orient. It was a peaceful moment, and the society was tolerant of
other religions, including the Jewish immigrants in Amsterdam. All of this
nourished and influenced Rembrandt's religious perspective and encouraged artistic

Rembrandt's rupture with
the tradition of painting a formal, glorious Christ occurs one painting
at a time. In the sequence of portraits of Christ, for example,
Rembrandt paints from a live model, and his Christ changes moods: he is by
turns weary, enigmatic, reflective. Then there is the earlier work Pilgrims
at Emmaus
, in which Christ is portrayed in shadow with his profile
lighted by an unseen source. Across from him an unnamed table companion is
astounded and frightened as he recognizes Christ.

The exhibition will close
at the Louvre on July 18, then travel to the Philadelphia Museum of Art
(Aug. 3-Oct. 30) and the Detroit Institute of Arts (Nov. 20, 2011-Feb.
12, 2012). A fabulous online tour of the works is available at least through
July 18.


Seminar on This Exhibition

For those who are interested, IMAGE journal (the leading journal of art and faith) will be sponsoring a seminar in September centered on this Rembrandt exhibition.

Artists Ted and Cathy Prescott will lead us through the exhibition and we will also meet to discuss the meaning and impact of the art of portraiture in the light of faith.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to receive a brochure.


Gregory Wolfe
Editor, IMAGE

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