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Art History: The Tribute Money by Peter Paul Rubens - Term Paper Example

The Tribute Money The Tribute Money of work: The Tribute Money Artists Peter Paul Rubens Culture/country of origin: Rome Date: 1612 Dimension: unknown Medium: unknown Museum location: Rome The tribute money theme is one describing the time the Catholic Church was under siege by Charles of the roman emperor around the year 1527. Ruben painted the sculpture to show such challenges that challenge the holy. Symbolically every work of art has two interpretations that can be derived from it. There is the literal direct interpretation derived from the straight view of the painting, and there is the deeper interpretation. The deeper interpretation id gathered form trying to understand what the artist was exactly trying to portray from the picture. This can be derived from observing and describing the characters and their actions. Also, form the general feel of the painting. The literal meaning in this painting is the performance of an act by one character; that appears to be above the others, such that his audiences stunned by such actions. This is to say that the man is handing a token or gift to his audience making them mightily surprised by his resction. He also appears to be explaining the theme for his actions pointing upwards in humble ways as if referring to a holly leader subjects such god. This deduction can also be made from the dressing codes and environment of the people depicting they lived in times of the scriptures. The deeper meaning of this painting could be tied to the story of

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Jesus in the scriptures when he entered Jerusalem. This is the time when Jesus was preaching the word of god and calling himself the messiah angering many threatened by him such as the rulers. On this day upon arrival to Jerusalem, he got confronted by the Pharisees pretending to be curious but asking him questions to try and trap him in order to jail him. They asked enquired from him the justification to pay taxes hoping he would say no and defy the rule of law. Instead, this is where he surprised them as seen in the painting. He atoned that what is Caesars; all money, should be given to him and what belonged to god should be given to god. The evident subject matter of this painting is to tell the story of Jesus and the Pharisees and to deduct their reactions and attitude towards Jesus and what he was about. The facial expression on Jesus face is calm and confident depicting he was truthful and confident on his response. On the other hand, his subjects; the Pharisees facial expressions are once showing surplice and defeat. They could not believe he was that modest and that they failed in trapping him. The painting is asymmetrically active with concentration at the center where the elements are most crowded. More emphasis given to the front faces of the individual characters in the painting brought together to emphasize on their effect. A first glance at the painting the noticeable thing is the body expressions of the characters. This is mainly the facial and body languages. These two expressions are the main theme of this painting as they enable to identify the characters and to deduct the mood within the story that it is telling. The brush strokes of the painting are smooth and unnoticeable while the whole painting is shinny and glossy. This sort of shiny and smooth texture is to describe the purity and sincerity of the moods and actions of the characters in their actions. The color used in the painting is more emphasized than the lining and concentrated upon certain parts of the characters such as the faces and hands. The faces and hands have more bright color than the rest of such that to focus and explain the facial expressions of the characters moods. Lining in the painting for the characters and the environment seems to be even and irregular. This is to try and bring out the real picture of events described. To make it look real enough, such effects applied. The lighting in this painting is expressed in half intensely bright light and the other half in partial darkness. The Pharisees are in the light while Jesus in the partial darkness. This is to bring the effect that the Pharisees were pressuring and trying to trap Jesus as to why they seem to be moving from light to the dark; trap. As such, this light seams unnatural and symbolist as it draws more attention to their facial expressions, and the environment to set the described mood of intentions. Reference Bourges, S. 2000. The new book of knowledge: History of painting. New York: Oxford University Press. Print.


The tribute money theme is one describing the time the Catholic Church was under siege by Charles of the roman emperor around the year 1527. Ruben painted the sculpture to show such challenges that challenge the holy…
Art History: The Tribute Money by Peter Paul Rubens
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