Artwork of the Week: July 2018 (Week 29)
Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn (1606-1669), Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe), c.1652, drypoint and engraving on paper, 6 1/8 x 8 1/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Ronald and Eileen Ragsdale.
Rembrandt, born July 15, 1606, spent his career rendering the complex emotional and spiritual states of the human soul and God’s grace. In this beautiful piece by the Dutch artist, the members of this informal congregation suggest real people with a spectrum of responses to Christ’s revolutionary teachings. The pompous remain peripheral, looking for something to criticize, while the remainder hang on Jesus’ every word, astonished at the authority of his doctrine. Christ speaks directly to the woman with an infant in her arms, and a slightly older child prodding an insect on the floor. We need not see her face to understand her engagement despite distractions. Other expressions of wonder, or deep contemplation, can be seen within the inner circle as the Savior lifts both hands in the gesture of blessing and prayer.