Sometimes a great work of art can so well express the deeper things of life, such as this painting by Rembrandt of Christ. I think it is my all time favorite image of Jesus.
When I think of all the bigotry and hatred that so many religious people seem to express these days, the intolerance and prejudice against those who are different, those who do not fit into the traditional molds of family and socially approved structures, I like to look at this image. Sometimes I wonder why I believe anything. Often I wonder if I should just give the whole thing up and become a unabashed pagan. And then comes along an artist like Rembrandt who can produce works of such spiritual depth. I find art expresses spiritual truths better than a thousand volumes of the most convoluted and carefully reasoned theology. One painting can touch the mind, heart and soul in way that the cold logic of doctrine or theology cannot, at least for me.
I write a lot about sexual beauty, but beauty is more than simply sexual, and Rembrandt in his works captures a deep spiritual beauty unlike anyone else.
How can this painting be summed up? Warmth and understanding. These things are for me part of the essence of any faith.
Oh I love Rembrandt (you’d have to be blind to not appreciate him). I hadn’t seen that one before.
I’m glad that helps you to not just give up – you don’t have to be a Pagan to enjoy sexual things. I have said before though that I would rather just be a Pagan than an uptight Christian, so I understand where you’re coming from; I’m just too stubborn to let the world win like that. Fuck you world!
Southern Man said:
That’s always been one of my favorite protraits of Christ. It’s a nice reminder that Christ was fully man as well as fully God, and because He was fully man and had to deal with all the crap that faced first-century men He understands me, as only another man can.
Racer X said:
Yes, Rembrandt is quite nice. His works are deeply spiritual. And I agree with you about fucking the world! Fuck you, world. Nice motto.
Nice comment, thanks.
Why do I get the sense that your idea of fucking the world is somewhat different to mine? He he he.
Racer X said:
Haha…well, perhaps my idea of fucking a certain feminine segment of the world is different from yours…
I do love this painting! I love how it captures the humanity of Jesus Christ and how well you can see it in his eyes. It makes us see what Christianity was supposed to be, before self-righteous human beings and their prejudices and their hate fucked it up. This is not the face of a man who condemns as many things as the churches do, this is the face of compassion and love.
I will have to come back when I have more time…I like what you write, because I have come to similar conclusions about this absurd world. I believe that Christ expeirenced everything in this bloody, brutal world, and I think that includes finding and losing someone he loved. Too bad the world leans on religous ritual instead of the love that Christ lived.—Sage