Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph by Rembrandt

Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph
1656
Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Oil on canvas
Location: Schloss Wilhelmshone, Kassel, Hesse, Germany

Rembrandt’s biblical paintings are cited as his most masterful work and in this scene we see Joseph, as a chief advisor to the Pharaoh, bringing his sons to Jacob’s, his father, deathbed to receive the family blessing. Ostensibly guided by god the blind Jacob breaks tradition and blesses the younger, fair-haired child first, as he could foresee that the younger son would be a greater person. Dark drapes are drawn aside to guide the viewer to the intimate family scene lit in creamy gold tones from the left.

Rembrandt
Baroque, Dutch Golden Age
Born: 15 July 1606, Leiden, Netherlands
Nationality: Dutch
Died: 4 October 1669, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rembrandt’s life and work were fuelled by an intense psychological study of people, objects, and their surroundings and a strong Christian devotion. Incredibly gifted, Rembrandt became a master of portraiture, historical, mythological, and biblical sense from a very young age. His techniques and use of materials was sensitive and spontaneous. His everchanging approach to colour, composition, and shadow produced powerfully moving and natural moments of the human existence. His mastery of light and texture emphasized emotional depth weaved a common theme through all his work confirming his status as one of art’s greatest and innovative masters.

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