The Crucifixion: Paintings from Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Rubens – Essay Example

The paper "The Crucifixion: Paintings from Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Rubens" is an excellent example of an essay on visual arts and film studies. Baroque is an art movement of the seventeenth century, one of the products of the clashes between the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Religious faith has attained a new emotional peak, thereby spilling emotional religious sentiments to the world of art. Baroque artists aimed to integrate the Classical ideas of Renaissance art with the sixteenth-century feelings of spiritual revival. This essay compares and contrasts three artworks from famous Baroque artists: Peter Paul Rubens’ “The Crucified Christ,” Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio’s “Flagellation of Christ,” and Rembrandt’s “The Raising of the Cross.” These are works of realism, where painters focused on using light, shadows, spatial composition, and vivid themes to depict dynamic action in religious events for somber dramatic effects. Rembrandt painted images of mythology, religion, and landscapes, using generally broad brushstrokes. He maximizes light, shadows, and spatial layout to depict his images and characters, enriching their emotions and personalities. “The Raising of the Cross” is known to include Rembrandt in it, where he is the commander in a white turban. People are raising Christ’s cross, where Christ looks upward. The background sees people shrouded in darkness. The work is considered Baroque because of the realism with the dramatic use of light and shadows.
Rubens is arguably one of the most central Flemish painters of the 17th century. His style defined the sensual and dynamic techniques of baroque painting. Rubens mixes bold brushwork, glowing colors, and play of light to depict vibrant energies. In “The Crucified Christ,” the light is cast on Christ’s luminous white body. The light highlights the humanity of Jesus and the pain on his face marks his human anguish.
Caravaggio’s style of painting is known for its realism, intense chiaroscuro and the importance placed on co-extensive space. His portrayal of religious themes tends to be somber and dark, and his peers criticized his work for being too realistic, showing the grimmest of human features. In “Flagellation of Christ,” Christ’s body looks perfectly white, but the people who are crucifying him look like demons with their veined faces, arms, and legs. It seems that they are the ones in pain when Jesus is the one being flagellated.