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The great Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn was a great master at portraying human emotions and experiences. The genre of the master’s works is very diverse, but no matter what topic he wrote, the depths of human passions were always paramount to him. One of Rembrandt's teachers was Peter Lastman - and he had the greatest influence on the style of his student. It was from him that the young author took over the peculiar diversity of the image and attention to small details. In his early work, Rembrandt strove to write out all the little things and particularly in the paintings as reliably and thoroughly as possible. Also one of the features of the artist is a predilection for self-portraits. In his youth, he portrayed himself a lot in sketches for paintings, in the most intricate robes and bizarre poses. Later, on so many canvases, Rembrandt also gave the characters his own face.
In the picture, David's farewell to Jonathan, the creator depicted the biblical scene described in the First Book of Kings. According to the Old Testament, Jonathan was the son of King Saul and a friend of King David. Initially, young David, who had been foretold unprecedented greatness and the throne in infancy, served under Saul, the first king of the people of Israel. At this time, he became friends with Jonathan (Jonathan), the son of Saul. David's victory over the Philistines as a commander and the assassination of Goliath began to overshadow the glory of Saul himself, after which the envious king was angry with his faithful warrior. Afraid that David would take his place in the future, Saul tried to kill him twice; no longer hiding jealousy and enmity, he openly threw a spear at David. The commander was forced to flee to Rama.
The relationship of David and Jonathan is considered the perfect example of biblical friendship. It was the royal son who twice saved David from death, causing the wrath of his father. Knowing full well that in the future he would, contrary to kinship, give David the throne - he joyfully agreed to be second after his closest friend. In the picture we see the farewell of two close people before the flight of David, at the sacred stone of Azail. Only the stern face of Jonathan is turned to the viewer - David is depicted from the back, falling in desperation to the friend’s chest. It is believed that emotionally writing a picture of Rembrandt inspired the death of his wife Saskia. David, whose face we do not see, resembles a girl with a figure and almost white hair; Jonathan, on the other hand, gave Rembrandt his own features. It is known that initially the picture was exhibited in a black, mourning frame, which confirms this version.
The overall golden tone in which the characters of the canvas are painted contrasts with a gloomy brownish background. The artist sees the friendship of the heroes, their devotion to each other, as if illuminated by a golden radiance; but the reality that separates the two men is dark and merciless. The gentle and bright image of the crying David, dressed in pinkish clothes, attracts the eye; Jonathan, richly dressed in light green, serious and gloomy, is a bit in the shade. The canvas is imbued with exorbitant longing and sorrow. The painting Farewell of David to Jonathan Rembrandt was acquired by Peter the Great for his collection and is currently in the Hermitage. It became the first canvas to come to Russia from Europe.
Arnold Becklin Pictures