Christ Appearing to the Apostles, 1650

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These two prints belong to a loosely defined series on the life of Christ. They may be seen as a pendent pair. In both, Christ is revealed in the flesh to ordinary humans, first to the shepherds in the darkness of the Nativity stable, then to his disciples as a man resurrected from the dead in a blaze of light. Rembrandt made both difficult to discern in one due to thick darkness obscuring the gathering of onlookers; in the other due to dissolving light reducing Christ's followers to fractured lines. The simple faith of the shepherds is signaled by the lantern bearer's doff of his cap. The doubts of Thomas are revealed as Christ invites him to probe the lance wound in his side. Though Christ's arrival is in both cases physical, Rembrandt's use of extremes of darkness and light leaves no question that it is also spiritual.

Christ Appearing to the Apostles
Artist Life
Accession Number
Otto Gerstenberg, cf Lugt 2785, no mark, provenance reported by Zinser. [Richard H. Zinser, Forest Hills, New York, until 1957; sold June 14, for $2,300, to Mia]
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 237 os; B. 89; Mz. 220 os; Holl. 89 os; B-B. 56-A
Curator Approved

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