Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pictures that are worth a thousand words

Most of the time, my posts on this blog have something to do with the life of our church or my personal spiritual journey or the life of my family, etc. After posting the comment below about the new photo my team chose, I thought you might enjoy seeing a few links to a couple of my favorite paintings.

In the National Gallery of Art is one of Rembrandt's renderings of the Apostle Paul. (Click here to view it.) Although Rembrandt painted Paul more than once (click here and here and his self-portrait as the Apostle here), my favorite is the one in Washington, perhaps because I once had the opportunity to view it in person. If you want to know more about some of Rembrandt's other depictions of Biblical scenes without having to surf museum websites from around the world, check out the following downloadable pda file from the Getty Museum's website. (Click here).

Rembrandt depicted many common, everyday scenes with tremendous grace and beauty. I believe this was in part due to the influence of the Protestant Reformation upon his perception of truth and spirituality. During the Middle Ages, a false conception of spirituality had arisen that included a false dichotomy between the material and the spiritual, with "holy" people portrayed only in "other worldly" ways including such things as halos around their heads, etc. The Reformers understood that we should live all of our lives under the lordship of Christ and that "secular" activities such as baking bread or trading in commerce could bring Him glory when done as acts of worship to Him.

On a lighter note, as a lover of good books, I always chuckle and admit I see a bit of myself in a painting hanging in the rare book room of the Milwaukee Public Library entitled, "The Bookworm." (Click here or here) I do not know much about the artist, Carl Spitzweg, but while looking for a link to point you to, I also came across his humorous, "The Poor Poet." (Click here)

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