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Cinema & the Arts as Sermons: What Rembrandt Can Teach Us About Love

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Video from The School of Life

What Rembrandt Can Teach Us About Love

"We celebrate Rembrandt as one of history’s greatest painters. But his troubled life story provides us with clues for interpreting the hidden, radical purpose of his art." from video introduction.

"The core of Rembrandt’s oeuvre, however, consists of biblical and—to a much lesser extent—historical, mythological, and allegorical “history pieces,” all of which he painted, etched, or sketched in pen and ink or chalk. Seen over his whole career, the changes in Rembrandt’s style are remarkable. His approach to composition and his rendering of space and light—like his handling of contour, form, and colour, his brushwork, and (in his drawings and etchings) his treatment of line and tone—are subject to gradual (or sometimes abrupt) transformation, even within a single work. The painting known as Night Watch (1640/42) was clearly a turning point in his stylistic development. These changes are not the result of an involuntary evolution; rather they should be seen as documenting a conscious search in pictorial and narrative respects, sometimes in discussion, as it were, with his great predecessors." from the article: Rembrandt

Night Watch by Rembrandt
Night Watch by Rembrandt

"Today, the world finds itself moving through a turbulent transformation between two systems. Collapsing at a faster rate every day are the foundations of a failed imperial world order defined by zero-sum thinking, consumerism and materialism which has defined our existence for decades. The question is now: will the new world system take the form of a new era of global empire, unmitigated war between faiths and a prolonged dark age OR might it take the form of the beautiful multi-polar world order defined by win-win cooperation between all of the nations, faiths and cultures of the world?

Throughout his life, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) continuously returned to the axiom-breaking theme of the famous biblical story of the ‘Supper at Emmaus’ in order to convey the powerful transformative “moment” of discovery in between the two states of mind of 1) the belief in the death of Christ and the end to his life’s mission and 2) the state of renewed faith in the immortal hope represented by the image of the resurrection. While this lesson is taken from the Christian matrix, it’s universal characteristic provides a lesson for people of all cultures who seek to bring a better world into being." From the article: Leaping from Despair into Hope: The Lesson of Rembrandt’s Resurrection for Today’s Troubled World

Like all humans Rembrandt was a sinner from birth. He like you and I had to be brought to Christ through many things, through or sin, through us at some point realizing that we cannot save ourselves from life's adversity or from the possibility of Hell. Where are you right now? Are you focused on Christ or the world?

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