• David and Jonathan

    Artist:
    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. 1606-1669
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    73x61,5 cm

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. 1606-1669

David and Jonathan

Holland, 1642

After his wife’s death Rembrandt continued for a time to live in a grand style, assembling a collection of antiques in his Amsterdam home. Then, however a law suit put an end to the artist’s financial well-being and the 1640s were no longer a time of prosperity. The works that he painted in this period are marked by a confessional character. The subject of the painting David Parting with Jonathan was inspired by the Bible verse: “they kissed one another, and wept with one another, but David more.” This is the parting of two bosom friends: Jonathan the son of the king and the young hero David, the victor over Goliath, whom King Saul is plotting to kill out of jealousy for his fame. At the risk of his own life, Jonathan warns his friend of the danger. They are parting for ever and seem to sense that. Their figures merge in an embrace. Pink, silvery-green, golden and smoky grey colours form an enchantingly beautiful range that conveys the movement of human feelings. The frozen high-relief brushstrokes are like a scattering of precious stones. Tenderness and sorrow, light and darkness fill this painting. The artist invested much that was personal and deeply felt in this work. It is no coincidence that he gave his own features to Jonathan who presses the youthful David to his breast. This work was acquired in Amsterdam in 1716 for Peter the Great and became the first work by the Dutch master to reach Russia.

Title:

David and Jonathan

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

73x61,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1882; transferred from the Monplaisir Palace at Peterhof; purchased in 1716; formerly in the collection of Jan van Beuningen

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-713

Category:

Collection:

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