the prodigal son in the tavern rembrandt
Description of the painting by Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn “Venus and Cupid”Believe it or not, this canvas is not written entirely by Rembrandt. The thing is, he just started this painting, and then suggested to his students to finish it. And.
Description of the painting by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rijn “Portrait of Rembrandt’s mother sitting at the table”Rembrandt is a Dutch painter, a representative of the golden age and one of the best masters. He was known during his lifetime, he had many students, among whom there.
An arc of light runs from the feet of the prodigal son up through his ragged clothes and shaven, downcast head, into the arms of his father. The light swells and ascends to the father’s illuminated face, across his brow, and then shoots like an arrow across the picture to the face of the other son … the elder, who remained at home.
That earlier treatment of the story is a self-portrait showing Rembrandt, with wife Saskia, sitting playfully on his lap, as he raises a drinking glass. Like so many stars that crash and burn, like Christ’s prodigal son in the parable, Rembrandt’s early prosperity didn’t last. The artist lived lavishly and spent profligately, assuming the good times would continue forever. They didn’t. By the time he painted The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt had been bankrupted, his wife had died, his popularity had largely vanished, and he lived in poverty.
It’s a subject that Rembrandt illustrated several times, in drawings, etching, and paintings. And in some ways parallels Rembrandt’s own life. As a talented young painter, Rembrandt’s reputation grows. He marries Saskia, daughter of a prominent family, his commissions grow exponentially. He lives extravagantly. But when Saskia dies, his fortunes seem to die with her, and he becomes poor.
Perhaps it’s foreboding that two years after his marriage, Rembrandt painted himself and Saskia in a work entitled, “The Prodigal Son In A Brothel.”
His portraits were commonly of his contemporaries and his self-portraits helped create a story of his life while demonstrating his humble and sincere nature. His biblical representations showed his knowledge while also providing a glimpse into his compassion for humanity and familiarity with the people of his country.
The younger son returns home essentially as a beggar and hopes his father will let him be a servant in his former household as he believes their relationship is broken.
In another painting of this biblical story Rembrandt caught the prodigal son in the tavern. He painted himself and his wife, Saskia, into the merry-making of wine and song in a raucous pub (of course, Rembrandt as prodigal is wearing a sassy Dutch hat of black felt, with sword dangling at his side).
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Return of the Prodigal Son. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.