Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt Analysis Essay
In 1633 an excellent piece of artwork was composed. This piece, created by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, depicts Matthew 4:35 - 5:43. This oil painting was titled Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee. As the title remarks, Jesus, his disciples, and a self-portrait of the artist are fighting a raging storm. Waves are crashing against the vessel as the ship appears as if it is going to capsize. However, Jesus has an aurora of brilliant light surrounding his face, and there is a bright patch of blue sky in the direction of the ship. This masterful painting was located in the Dutch Room at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. However, thieves stole this piece and numerous others, leading to the artwork vanishing for 31 years. Even though the artwork is in an unknown location, images of this piece still have a meaningful influence on the viewers by showing an important message: Rembrandt uses various artisanal techniques to portray this message. Specifically, through the use of lines and colors, Rembrandt's Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee depicts the message that after tumultuous times there will be tranquility in the future.
Rembrandt explicitly uses lines to help describe the message. In Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, lines are used in various ways to help do so. For instance, Lines help deliver his message that there will be peace after difficult times by pointing to the sky and showing that the storm will end soon. In the painting, dark lines are used to outline the piece's different characteristics and produce shading. This element of art creates perspective and movement, allowing the piece to seem three-dimensional. But most importantly, lines direct the viewer's eyes to specific areas of the artwork. For instance, the oars and hull of the boat are pointing to the patch of blue sky in the top left corner (Figure 1). By pointing to the sky, the viewers see that the storm will soon be over. Also, the lines in the mast and the cables are pointing straight up into the dark storm. Rembrandt used this to catch the reader's attention, allowing the viewer to notice the crew's struggle.
Comparable to lines, colors have a significant impact on the painting. Colors can create different moods, energy, and feelings. Through dark hues, the painting is presented as dreary, allowing the viewer to determine that the characters are in trouble (Figure 2). The dark shades in the sky and the sea show the danger of these natural elements. However, Rembrandt used light shades around Jesus, the waves in the front of the ship, and the patch of vibrant sky to portray feelings of relief and relaxation because the storm will end soon. Rembrandt portrayed Jesus as having a halo of light because, in the bible verse, Jesus stopped the storm. Through this bright shading, Rembrandt portrayed the bible verse and the message that there is peace after a tragedy.
To conclude, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn uses lines and colors to show that there will be peace after turbulent times. Even though the original painting vanished in 1990, images of this piece still translate the fear of the men and the message of hope for the future. Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee is an essential piece to the observers because of the message represented and the visual techniques that created this meaning.