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Painting of the Week: Joseph Accused by Potiphar’s Wife

The story of Joseph fascinated Rembrandt, who crafted numerous drawings, prints, and paintings of this Old Testament figure.

Having failed to seduce Joseph, Potiphar’s wife is seen here falsely accusing him of trying to violate her. Speaking to Potiphar, the wife gestures to the red robe at the foot of the bed that Joseph left behind, intentionally darkened to emphasize the wickedness in her accusation. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Woman Taken in Adultery

In The Woman Taken in Adultery, Rembrandt beautifully portrays the well-known story of Jesus defending an accused adulterer and teaching a lesson on compassion and hypocrisy.

Jesus’ stature is exaggerated to make him seem taller (and thus morally superior) to those trying to trick him. He is brightly lit with a compassionate expression, emphasizing the central theme of the narrative. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Descent from the Cross

In this sorrowful piece by Rembrandt, Joseph of Arimathea is seen helping Jesus down from the cross. The man in blue holding Jesus’ arm is a self-portrait, and the man watching on the right is Nicodemus who assisted Joseph in burying Jesus (John 19:39–40). [Read more…]

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