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Rembrandt Van Rijn's Paintings - Term Paper Example

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The essay analyzes two paintings, “The Blinding of Samson” and “The Avenge of Samson” by Rembrandt van Rijn. This year marks the the 406th anniversary of the birth of the Dutch painter and etcher. Shilvers in The Oxford Dictionary of Art calls Rembrandt “his country’s greatest artist”…
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Rembrandt Van Rijns Paintings
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Rembrandt Van Rijn's Paintings

Download file to see previous pages... The paper "Rembrandt Van Rijn's Paintings" explores “The Blinding of Samson” and “The Avenge of Samson” by Rembrandt van Rijn. While there have been identified more than 400 original works by Rembrandt that have lived through centuries, no one doubts that in the past there existed many more which, unfortunately, have either been lost or destroyed. Today one may savor the beauty and emotional depth of a variety of portraits created by Rembrandt back in the 17th century. However, what is even more appealing for a modern viewer is Rembrandt’s paintings devoted to the Biblical themes and based on the events either from the Old or New Testament. It is hard to say why exactly, but the Biblical story of the Hebrew hero Samson, who was known to possess inordinate strength and was kind of God’s champion, was particularly interesting to Rembrandt. The art scholars attribute 5 original works by Rembrandt devoted to Samson’s life events. The Blinding of Samson (1636) is probably the most famous of them. Interestingly, it has been found that one more painting that explored the Samson motif was created by Rembrandt almost immediately after The Blinding of Samson. The Avenge by Samson (1638) was completed two years later and was kept in a private collection of Rembrandt’s powerful patron Prince Frederick Hendrick of Orange during his lifetime. Allegedly, it was destroyed during the fire of 1712 or was stolen at the moment of panic in the burning house where it was kept. This paper seeks to explore the meaning., historical context and the form of The Blinding of Samson and, based on this research, hypothesize what the details of The Avenge of Samson might have been. It also focuses on the place these artworks had/might have had in the career of their author – Rembrandt van Rijn. The Blinding of Samson: Form, Meaning and Historical Context The Blinding of Samson was created back in 1636. At that time, artists typically used natural materials that they made themselves, most often oil. The Blinding of Samson is not an exception to that rule. It is written in oil on canvas and it is quite large (235x302 cm). While the painting is an example of the Baroque art and represents the Biblical episode, it is quite naturalistic. It can be attributed to the author’s careful use of form. In particular, this artwork exemplifies “the dark manner” which was introduced by Rembrandt’s predecessor Caravaggio. In this painting, Rembrandt used luxuriant brushwork which combined with rich color and masterful use of chiaroscuro (the technique of treatment of both light and shade). Specifically, his brushstrokes are, as usual, broad and thick. Also, it is these layers of glaze that evidently provide scenes with extra depth and also gravity. Critics claim that these technique helped Rembrandt depict the mood as well as inner mental feeling of the figures since it accentuated their physical features along with expressions on their faces (Encyclopedia of Art, visual-arts-cork.com). In relation to this, Armold Houbraken, a painter and a contemporary of Rembrandt who was familiar with the way the great Dutchman worked described that very often his artworks “looked as though the paint has been smeared on with a bricklayer’s towel” (van de Wetering 5). Yet, it is this working method that allows his paintings to create an extremely light ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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