Thursday, September 6, 2007

Freshly squeezed

Rembrandt's the Jewish Bride aka Isaac and Rebecca
click to enlarge

They say this is not an image of some guy squeezing her melons for freshness.

This is a Rembrandt painting called "The Jewish Bride". Although painted in the 17th century it was titled "the Jewish Bride" in the 19th century because it was thought to be a father placing a wedding necklace on to her. At some point, someone must have asked why the father would cop feel and it was decided that he must be the groom. Now it is looked at as a biblical illustration of Isaac and Rebecca's wedding.

I find it interesting because :
1) he is totally copping a feel. Really. If he were transiently draping the necklace over her shoulders then would her hand be touching his the way it is? It is a caress for him to linger. Would he hold the necklace that awkwardly? His right hand holding it by his fingertips. His left hand resting on her shoulder. Note the shadow from his thumb falling directly on her not above her. (Art historians seem to disagree and stick with the necklace story - it is possible that I am a dirty minded horn dog who is seeing things)

2) They aren't looking at each other. Or at anything in particular. Each lost in their own thoughts. Ignoring each other except through touch and even that seems minimal. (more obvious in the large version than the small)

3) They don't look happy. Boobs make men happy and I believe that to be a universal truth. He looks like he is going to knock on it and listen for an echo. If you cover the right side of her face then I think she looks serene if not happy. Cover the left and she look sad and worried. Together, I think she looks stressed.

The lesson to be learned from this painting : all her jewelry didn't make her happy - he should have tried flowers.

another random obeservation:
His right arm is enormous! Three possibilities : he has an old woman's upper arm fat, he has been spending every lonely night without her building his strength in that arm or he is wearing a puffy shirt.


1618 said...

Dear Colonel,

Greetings from Australia.

1618 said...

The depth of feeling and possible meanings created by Rembrandt's genius give this painting its incredible resonance. We see the passion and the love and the union between man and woman.

Colonel, do you notice the Equalateral triangle Rembrandt has created? It's like a holy alliance but in compostition. I would love to see this painting, so I could study the brush strokes and view the red colour.

Col. Milquetoast said...

Hello my dear 1.618,

We see the passion and the love and the union between man and woman.

Do you see love? I'm not sure. They aren't looking at each other. At best, they seem concerned about their burdens of the future (a passion that might imply love). Love makes people happy (mostly) and they don't seem to be. I may be looking for the wrong thing - the only things I know about love is what I've learned from watching old movies.

I would love to see this painting, so I could study the brush strokes and view the red colour.

As would I. Rembrandt's brush strokes can be mesmerizing.

1618 said...

Love defines many things. It's not about romance and courtship.

1618 said...

Have a good day.

1618 said...

p.s. They are not looking at each other.

Can you see love? Love is not unkind it has no words... etc..

1618 said...

Okies, I'm back.

1618 said...

p.s. I think she looks somewhat down in the dumps, as she has to wear that tight corset.

Col. Milquetoast said...

Love defines many things. It's not about romance and courtship.

So true, in Jean-Claude Van Damme movies he usually has to beat somebody up before the girl loves him. (I kid!!!)

A painting about love that concentrates not on the interaction between the couple but on their individual melancholy thoughts while they stand as a couple makes it different.

Okay, it is about love.

Col. Milquetoast said...

She is also probably worried that her dress makes her butt look big.

Ash said...

Damn you Colonel!

Where were you to take me as a lecturer for that ridiculous "art history" class I had to take?!

I had to repeat that because apparently I had no appreciation for the artwork!

Which was rubbish. I merely interpreted it differently to Professor Moonbat.

1618 said...

I would be worried about my big moonbat bum in that outfit!

Hi Ashy, thanks for you lovely message. x

Col. Milquetoast said...

I was probably getting told by my art history teacher that basically every artist from the last 2000 years was gay (if an artist had ever drawn a male nude then that qualified as evidence he was gay - I might have to purge my sketchbooks so 1.618 doesn't think I'm gay).

When I raised my hand to ask a question she'd let out a dramatic sigh and say "what now?" I became a bit of a smartypants after that class because I seemed to know more than the teacher.

Ash said...

You'll look great in that outfit 1.618! You'll knock the Colonel's socks off... and possibly other clothing too!

Col., you mean that every artist to ever put pencil, pen or paintbrush to paper wasn't gay?!

Oh man, my uni education isn't helping me here.