The Return of the Prodigal Son – (Rembrandt Van Rijn) Previous Next


Artist:

Topic: Family Boys

Date: 1669

Size: 262 x 206 cm

Museum: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

Technique: Oil On Canvas

The Baroque artist Rembrandt Van Rijn had painted many scenes from the Bible. In his self-portraits, he had depicted himself as a spoilt child and so it seems fitting that he painted The Return of the Prodigal Son towards the end of his life. The image shows the father and son in expressive light, and everything beyond them fades into black. The only noticeable figure is the father’s elder son, on the right, his hands crossed in judgement. The story of the prodigal son tells the tale of a spoilt son who runs away with his inheritance and spends it all on worldly pleasures only for it to run out and have his status reduced to a swine herder. In shame, he returns to his father. Rembrandt depicts the son as bald and in ragged clothing, kneeling while the father is dressed in wealth and his hands on his son’s shoulders and back, the left hand seems to be bigger and more masculine and is placed on the shoulder while the right hand is smaller, more feminine and is placed on the back, a more receptive gesture. Rembrandt had painted and sketched other images inspired by this parable.

This artwork is in the public domain.

Artist

Rembrandt Van Rijn

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