As I entered museum, I saw many similar paintings that I learned in class. The Hyde Collection had many beautiful works 19th Century European and American art. Most of pictures are from 19th century oil and wood paints, and there were some pictures from 17th century in second floor. I recognized some of artists, and one of 17th century picture, Christ with Arms Folded, caught my eyes. It is an oil painting on canvas with chiaroscuro, and it doesn’t have many colors. Even though he used less colors, his painting was attractive enough. This painting is well described light and shade.
In this picture, Jesus Christ’s face is lighted while background is shaded. This impacted his facial expression, and feelings. After I saw this portrait, I felt his sadness and dignity at the same time. The Christ with arms folded was painted by Rembrandt van Rijn. He is the most important painter working in Amsterdam in the 17th century. Rembrandt was born in Leiden on 1606. He began his studies at Latin school, and began to study art when he was 14 years old. Rembrandt absorbed an interest in the naturalism, drama and tenebrism championed by Caravaggio.
By 1630, he was established in Amsterdam primarily as a portrait painter. His well-known group portrait are The Anatomy Lesson for DR. Nicolaes Tulf (1632) and The Night Watch(1642). And the night watch is the could say the end of his most successful years. People didn’t understand his realistic portrait, and it triggered him to failure of his life. His masterpiece make the event more dramatically, because a dense layer of grime had darkened and obscured its colors. Beginning in 1627, he focused on etching, which uses acid to inscribe a design on metal plates.
About a decade later, he began to experiment with making additions to his compositions in the drypoint technique. At his senior life, “Rembrandt painted ever more brilliantly, varying textures and paint from the thinnest glaszes to thick impasto, creating a rich, luminous chiaroscuro, ranging from deepest shadow to brilliant highlihgts in a dazzling display of gold, red, and brown. And his artworks became more searching as he aged. ” ( Cothren, Michael W. Art History. 5th ed. Pg. 23) In contrast to his successful public career, however, Rembrandt’s family life influenced him to fail.
He had four children, but only one child survived Despite Rembrandt’s financial success as an artist, teacher, and art dealer, his penchant for ostentatious living forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1656. The painting, Christ with Arms Folded is one of the series of portrayals of the apostles. This painting is a mixture of his previous works (The heads of Christ, Pilgrims at Emmaus) yet renews the emotion they instill in painting. In this painting, Christ tilted his head to left, downward looking gaze and closed mouth, lighting from the right, and folding his arms.
He shaded the bottom and left side of Jesus, and this darkness makes the portrait more gentle and realistic. Also, the light in this portrait is gradually shinning, and it makes me to feel like his eyes are following me. Most of his Biblical portraits are combination of realism and imagination. He was so ahead of his time in showing Jesus as a Middle Eastern Jewish man with human emotion. His portrait of Jesus was not fully imagination. Nobody knows about Jesus’s face, and Rembrandt used Jewish model to pose.
Jesus in his painting seems like more human, and he expressed feelings so nice. As I mentioned before, Christ with arm folded is combination of his previous works. The heads of Christ and Pilgrims at Emmaus are his previous art work and these art works show his skill in depicting light and shadow. His unique skill in depicting light and shadow have been more highly valued during the 18th and 19th centuries. Rembrandt’s realistic portrait inspired many famous aristis in 17th century Dutch and German. For example, Fragonard and Tiepolo were highly influenced by him.
His realistic portrait was the new way of painting in 17th century, and it gave inspiration of artist in later time. This painting contains lots of meaning behind, and just like this paint (Christ with arm folded) most of his paintings are well designed and well-described expressions. He is the most influential artist during that time of period and now. this painting shows his techniques of painting and how he imagined about Christ. Even though he had tragic life at the end, the loneliness made his painting more mature and influenced him to enter another level of art.