We went on a roadtrip to Philly today, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art being top of the list of things to do. It was a spur of the moment trip, and I didn't even check to see what their current exhibitions were, but their big one was Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus.
I was on the fence for paying the extra fees to see it, mainly because I have to admit, I'm not a big religious paintings buff. I get how all the different schools and countries and epochs had their ways of portraying religious icons, and how it's all important.
But honestly, for me, there is something odd about humanity's need to put a face to Jesus. We know we were created in His image, so I don't necessarily agree with having to figure out what God or Jesus looked like.
But in the end, the exhibit was actually pretty interesting. I learned a lot about Rembrandt the man, as well as the artist - which is always good for me. Apparently, he was one of the first artists to actually portray Jesus in a more human, more expressive light, so the main section of the exhibit focused on several paintings of Jesus in several different facial poses. Pretty cool. Plus, the galleries were filled with different paintings, etchings and drawings from Rembrandt and others of his school.
One of his favorite scenes to paint was the Supper at Emmaus, where a couple of disciples were on their way to Emmaus, and they meet a stranger, who then reveals himself as Jesus at dinner, as they are breaking bread. That's this painting here, on loan from the Louvre. Jesus is in the middle, with a shining outline of light, and even the back archway reminds you of a church altar.
It's a fairly amazing piece.
And of course, here's me, sitting here in New York, not even realizing that Philly had borrowed this piece from Paris.
Yep. Even with the audio guide, even with reading the placard...I still missed that tidbit of information.
Anyway, so now you know. Get on down to Philly to see the exhibit before October 30th!
Mind you, I have to say here that I'm in awe, and somewhat surprised at the amount of merchandise the museum produced for this event. Not only are there tons of religious items, plus a healthy set of Rembrandt pieces, but they extended the merchandise to include a ton of Dutch wares.
No, I mean like Holland windmill pens, spicy cookies from Amsterdam, wooden shoes, Delft blue items, Dutch waffle cookies, tons of tulips, etc. I mean, it totally felt like I was at a gift shop in Holland.
I wanted to buy a set of the cookies - because of the gorgeous blue and white tin. But, I reined it in. I was appalled at the Messiah Mints, so I didn't get those. But I totally did end up with a green Holland windmill pen.