Divine Encounter: Rembrandt's Abraham and the Angels

Divine Encounter: Rembrandt's Abraham and the Angels

D Giles Ltd

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In 1646, on a panel fewer than nine inches wide, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) produced one of his most captivating images. In private hands and publicly exhibited only a handful of times, this extraordinary painting, Abraham Entertaining the Angels, is among the artist’s lesser-known masterpieces and it is the inspiration for Divine Encounter. Rembrandt took an unusual and dramatic approach to Biblical subjects. He made use of the viewer’s knowledge of the subject whilst finding ways to bring the familiar to life, a challenge he took on throughout his career.

Abraham and the Angels is presented alongside a selection of Rembrandt’s treatments of other biblical episodes in which Abraham encounters God and his angels. These are examined as a group, compared with versions by Rembrandt’s contemporaries, and considered in relation to theological, philosophical and artistic debates of the period.

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