Today is the Museum March Madness – Historical Prints competition! Check our story to vote!
First up is
Rembrandt van Rijn
Christ Healing the Sick (The Hundred Guilder Print), 1639-1649
Etching and drypoint on paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Rouner
Samek Art Museum Collection, 1970.3.8
This work is perhaps Rembrandt’s best-known, and arguably finest, examples of printmaking. In this composition, Rembrandt combines several biblical stories from Matthew’s 19th chapter in the Bible into one image. We see Christ, just left of center, hands outstretched. Nearby are ailing figures, particularly one reclined on a wagon; a child gesturing toward Christ; and well-dressed scholars. In the upper right corner, hardly discernible in the shadows, we see the neck and head of a camel and a man who appears to be frustrated. This section of the print refers to when Christ was quoted as saying, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” This man, apparently rather well-to-do based on his clothing, does not like that remark!
The Flagellation of Christ, from The Large Woodcut Passion, 1497 (published 1511) Woodcut on paper
Samek Art Museum Collection, 1984.3
This print is one from a series of 12 that Albrecht Dürer made depicting the Passion of Christ. “The Passion” refers to the events that occurred in the final portion of Christ’s life, including the Last Supper, his trial, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. This print shows the flagellation, or beating and whipping, of Christ. In the foreground, we see a man bundling sticks together to create a whip with which to beat Christ. Others in the crowd have sticks and whips they are flailing. To the right of Christ’s head, we see a man whistling, and below him a man with a horn. The figures are crowded and raucous, but the composition is nearly symmetrical. Perhaps by creating a balanced image, Dürer was emphasizing Christ’s acceptance and forgiving attitude.
And the Winner is Christ Healing the Sick!