Throughout his life Rembrandt treated the stories and parables of the Old and New Testaments in accessible, familiar images. Because the Dutch Reformed Calvinism of his time forbade religious art in churches, public commissions for paintings of biblical subjects were virtually nonexistent, but an enthusiastic private patronage for them thrived, which helps account for the preponderance of religious subjects in Rembrandt's work. The Raising of Lazarus is Rembrandt's only painting of this miracle marking the culmination of Christ's ministry, but he also made drawings and etchings of the same subject. Christ's divine and human nature is revealed as he stands in the cave where Lazarus was buried, his hand raised to perform the miracle, his face filled with apprehension and triumph. Rembrandt interprets Lazarus's rising not only in direct correspondence with Christ's forceful gesture but also in response to the divine power it has unleashed by evoking faith. Around Christ and the tomb huddle the astounded witnesses—among them Mary and Martha, Lazarus's sisters—whose gestures and expressions record successive states of awareness and awe before what is unfolding. The dramatic darkness of the cave does not obscure the subtle colors--mauve, rose, and aqua--of the costumes or the glinting highlights of the quiver and scabbard hanging at the right.More...
Probably collection of the artist, Amsterdam, until 1656. [Possibly Johannes de Renialme (ca. 1600–1657), Amsterdam]. Possibly Abraham Fabritius (1629–1692), Amsterdam, by 1670. Possibly Pieter le Moine, Amsterdam, by 1674. (Possibly David Grenier sale, Middleburg, 18 Aug. 1712, lot 96). (Possibly Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, 4 June 1727, lot 2). Philippus Joseph de Jariges (1706–1770) (sale, Amsterdam, 14 Oct. 1772, lot 24). Gottfried Winckler II (1731–1795), Leipzig, by descent to; Gottfried Winckler III, Leipzig; Jean François André Duval (1776–1854), Saint Petersburg and Geneva, by 1812 (sale, London, 12–13 May 1846, lot 116, to); Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny, 1st Duke of Morny (1811–1865) (sale, Paris, 24 May 1852, lot 17). Jules Beer (sale, Paris, 29 May 1913, lot 52). [Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris, 1913]. Vicomte de Brimon, Paris. [Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris, 1920]. [R. Langton Douglas, London, by 1932]. Madame Gertrude Dubi-Müller (1888–1980), Shanzmüle, Solothurn, Switzerland (on extended loan to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), by 1932, sold 1959 to; Howard F. Ahmanson (1906–1968), Los Angeles, upon his death to; H. F. Ahmanson and Company, gift in 1972 to; LACMA.More...
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