Caravaccio and Rembrandt

Supper at Emmaus

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad(.Luke24 13-17)

Luke 24 chapther gives an overview of Jesus’ activities after the resurrection. In essence, the disciples spend the whole day with Jesus, who has risen from the dead. They talk to him for a long time about what is said about him in the Bible, they are amazed to knowledge the walker of these things, but they do not know who it is. Only when have dinner – they recognize him. His movements on the breaking of bread. The appearance of Jesus does not immediately become familiar. In many religions, there is life after death and we are changed – after death, our appearance “as a spirit” being changes. We read in the Bible that Jesus is the only born Son of God, the Messiah, who came to earth to redeem and save us and who did not die as a mortal, but rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Many masterpieces emphasize the change in his appearance after the resurrection.

Michelangelo Caravaggio (1571-1610)

Caravaggio’s “light from the hatch” and painting directly on canvas without the use of plans creates a breakthrough in all art. Despite the shameless use of naturalism, his pictures are still in demand, but they cause the audience shake their heads – is it all religious enough, has it not betrayed Catholic principles in its spirit of innovation, and is it another denial of true faith? The picture we are looking at is deeply religious, but so naturalistic that the question arises, “Holy Father! What do you think of this art? ”. You may think that the answer may not be positive.

Supper at Emmaus. Greated 1606

The painting of the sacred scene, in this form, is a little too much for many. We see crushed bread on the table.  I would like to ask who has done that with this bread? After all, I do not want to hear Caravaggio’s answer that Jesus has done this with bread. Who eats this crushed bread? I do not want to ask these questions and discuss them at all, because that would be indecent. As the picture is like this, I will try mercilessly to move forward with my discussions. Jesus acts like a folk man. It seems like he’s explaining something in detail. Apparently, bread is a model material for explaining the things of the world, or Jesus explains the meaning of bread: “This is my body here” Crushed bread seems to be the central shape of this story. Jesus is already recognized, apparently the disciple managed to stand up, in fright he is still holding from the table. The Son of God also explains figuratively and holding his finger up. He talks about the future and the present. Such a Jesus is better understood by the temperament of the south. The focus is on characters who act as cartoon characters, perspective interior is not visible.

Didn’t the waiter (chef) have time to take the towel off, even though the Baroque customs required it? It catches the eye of the viewer of that time and still causes a lot of controversy. Apparently, a headgear, like a chef’s hat today, is a protection against hair and sweat from falling into food? This may have been the case at the time of Jesus, because the rules of hygiene were different from the Baroque period. Caravaggio seems to know more about the events of 1,500 years ago than the man of his time. The man, with a towel on his head, has nailed the gaze to the bread, even forgotten the pocket of his hand, and has for a moment been listen to Jesus, picking up grain of wisdom for himself.

The caterer also watch somewhere on the table and probably isn’t indifferent- on the other hand: Does she still understand because she looks so old and wrinkled that doesn’t she understand anything? But apparently the message is so clear that even she understands. The food he carries is covered with a towel. What’s under the towel – guess what you want, according to your mind and fantasy, it’s like bones ruffling under a towel?

The disciple holds the table firmly, his face is sunburned, sticky and he has a jug in front of him. Is the wine a spur and the sweat is caused by the wine? Another disciple, though with his back to us, feels that he is staring into Jesus’ face. Couldn’t the recognition of Jesus be more delicacly?

And as a convinced Catholic, Caravaaggio has painted the greatest and most sacred picture, but just like in life – for some reason everything turns out differently.

There is no background, the darkness absorbs half of Jesus ‘face, and the disciples’ hair blends into it. There is a  desire to see what is in the background then, but Caravaggio does not make everything clear and simple for us. Everything that is in the light is clear – you can see every wrinkle and blood vessel, Caterer Sternocleidomastoid muscle is like a textbook of anatomy, the materials and the fold of clothes are also clearly visible. Expressive facial expressions and poses should be intelligible and readable, but we probably lack the understanding to do so, because the whole of Caravaggio’s creation is too startlingly robust and yet mysterious to understand as.

Caravaggio’s work is extremely naturalistic and full of symbols. It seems that he himself only knows their true meaning. The characters and details of the characters in the picture are painted with shadow and color contrasts.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

Supper at Emmaus. Greated at 1648

Rembrandt’s love of biblical themes is pervasive throughout his work. The works become deep and meditative in his latest time. Does Rembrandt’s dramatic life add depth to the images? His wife Saskia and his three children die. Born into a Calvinist family, his work cannot be classified as Protestant or even Baroque. Rembrandt’s later work is outside the classification and does not harmonize well with Dutch painting. Citizens, which adorns its home with the works of artists, cannot appreciate religious, visionary images. Dutch painting is on earth with two legs. Of course, the Bible was read and pictures on Bible topics were popular, but the audience would expect something situational and realistic, where what would happen would be clear and handsome. While earlier we see emotions, colors and mastery in Rembrandt’s works, later the works radiate mystery and mystical power, they lack clarity of detail, but there is plenty of sadness, simplicity and depth.

It is depicted Jesus with the Disciples appearing to them in Emmaus. The disciples are having dinner with Jesus and he is breaking bread. This is the moment of clarity. The picture was affected by a flickering light falling from somewhere and entangling everything. Whether it’s atorch light or it’s a candle somewhere, but it reveals the story just as much as necessary. The shimmering light has painted light shadows of figures on the wall. Part of the image is filled with vague space. The question arises: “Why these ugly boring walls?” There is a large space behind Christ: a deep niche, massive stone walls give the picture a peaceful majestic look. We can see who is in the picture and what they are doing there, and our eyes are not bundled with redundant information, because there is no more interior.

The whole color is brown and does not play on the contrasts. Most artists love so much, the image is an effect. Looks like Rembrandt doesn’t know colors at all. Nevertheless, the image has a profound and meditative effect, making us think about eternal things. In this brown haze, the need is highlighted. There is a moment of recognition: Christ has the bread which he breaks, and which also brings a flash to the nature of the sorrowful disciples, for the movement in breaking bread is acquaintance. One of the disciples puts his hand in prayer or strikes them in amazement, the other has grabbed from the table, “Is this you Jesus?” The poses of the disciples are given the event and precision of detail is not important here. The waiter doesn’t seem surprised, so he’s someone who doesn’t know anything about Jesus yet. . Jesus holding something, but it is only noticeable. He only had to confirm for a moment that everything he had said was true.  Jesus is surrounded by a Holy Glory and we see of a saint on his face – there is no doubt arises – this is exactly the scene in Emmaus. The character is in simple modest clothing whose material does not shine or squeak. All the color is wrapped in Rembrandt’s sphumatos.  Rembrandt’s work does not have clear colors or details, the whole work leaves a fabulous and meditative look. It would be like the intangible energy formed by this dim light and the aura created by the artist, in which the images are barely perceptible. Almost imperceptibly, the figure turns into a surface. There is also no baroque rumble, spiral and joviality The picture is convincing, we believe in these deeply human characters. In fact, the picture is profound-sorrow, because we probably don’t see Jesus on our earthly path anymore, we just know he’s with us when we believe in him.

The picture shows the simplicity, meditative, discretion and peace, which is also inherent of the Netherlands. On the other hand, the do not consider Rembrandt’s enchantment. We cannot say that Rembrandt was influenced by anyone in creating his work, because it is so unique, but of course he now the work of Caravaggio and other great masters. His work is a development in his own direction through himself.

Both artists have a very masterful and innovative approach to light. Both use dimmed light, which has a different approach but creates a mystery to the image. You can see exactly as much as you need. Soft transitions from light to shadow, which is used to model the image. The interior of that time is dark without electricity. The light on the masterpieces seems precious, if you turn down the light a little more, you will no see what is in the picture.

The people of that time are not understand the Great Artists : Caravaggio’s work is deeply religious, but hot-blooded, as the artist was, he adds some mysterious insidious details. The ruthless reality is shrouded in an enchanting game of light and shadow. The image is irritating and intriguing to the audience, which is an inevitability in his works, which he may even be angry about and also provokes the resentment of the audience, but he cannot do otherwise. Looks like he wants to fool the audience. It is understandable that all this is liked by a modern person who is looking for novelty and something that has never been seen before – shocking.

Rembrandt’s work is seemingly extremely simple, but at the same time deeply meditative. Underneath the rippling layer of paint is introspective peace. In the Dutch context, it was considered too incomprehensible, but today it is a rare, valued work with its deeply introspective approach and intrigue. The pictures take a longer time to understand a little bit. We have a world of discovery ahead of us.

Previous work

Caravaggio 1606

Jesus without a beard. A moment of recognition for us: “Ah-aa! Younger, after the resurrection !? ”The nature morte on the table is an attraction in itself. From earlier Caravaccio work familiar old gentleman – here is there a disciple of Jesus. It seems that he will immediately get up and begin to enjoy Italian folk dance with great joy. It would be like several works in one work, so much information in one picture.

Rembrandt. 1629.y.

Rembrandt Jesus will leave the disciples forever! The disciple’s eyes are falling out, he is very emotional. Composition and light treatment are very special. Finding characters takes time because they are shrouded into darkness.

Prologue: I think about these pictures for days and probably overdo it: In a dream, Caravaggio appears to me and my question is how these things are. In Dream Caravaggio says that these things are not as the people see. He just painted a picture, all what is seen, is human thinking. So, in fact, my mind is spoiled. This may even be true, because something like that is being said by another genius – Picasso. Creating is set to be the most important thing in life.



Be happy!

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