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Two of Jesus' disciples were walking to Emmaus after the Crucifixion when the resurrected Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but they did not recognise him. At supper that evening in Emmaus '... he took bread, and blessed it, and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight' (Luke 24: 30-31). Christ is shown at the moment of blessing the bread and revealing his true identity to the two disciples.

Caravaggio's innovative treatment of the subject makes this one of his most powerful works. The depiction of Christ is unusual in that he is beardless and great emphasis is given to the still life on the table. The intensity of the emotions of Christ's disciples is conveyed by their gestures and expression. The viewer too is made to feel a participant in the event.

The picture was commissioned by the Roman nobleman Ciriaco Mattei in 1601. Caravaggio painted a second, more subdued version of 'The Supper at Emmaus' about five years after this work.

Detail from Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 'The Supper at Emmaus', 1601 ©️ The National Gallery, London

#caravaggio #nationalgallery #supperatemmaus #arthistory #historyofart #instamuseum #london


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A young boy recoils in pain as his finger is bitten by a lizard, hidden among the fruit. A magnificent still life stands between him and us. The glass vase holds a rose and a sprig of jasmine, while red, succulent cherries lie beside the vase. Note the reflection of a room painted in the curving contour of the glass. It's most unusual for a late 16th-century painting to show a figure so realistically in a moment of action, and for a still life to be so prominent.

The subject of this painting may have an allegorical meaning, and possibly refers to the pain that can derive from love.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Tom Patterson.

#caravaggio #painting #nationalgallery #instamuseum #arthistory #historyofart


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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio died #OnThisDay in 1610. Arrogant, rebellious and a murderer, Caravaggio's short and tempestuous life matched the drama of his works. Characterised by their dramatic, almost theatrical lighting, Caravaggio's paintings were controversial, popular, and hugely influential on succeeding generations of painters all over Europe.

This subject of this painting from the New Testament (Mark 6). Salome had danced so well for King Herod that he swore he would grant her any request. Her mother, Herodias, who sought revenge on John the Baptist, persuaded Salome to ask for his head.

This is a late work by the artist, probably painted at the end of his life, perhaps in Naples where he resided from 1609 to 1610. No longer concerned with the incidentals of the narrative, Caravaggio focuses on the essential human tragedy of the story.

Detail from Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 'Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist', about 1609-10 ©️ The National Gallery, London.

#caravaggio #salome #painting #nationalgallery #instamuseum #arthistory #historyofart #johnthebaptist


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This self portrait was painted in the final year of Rembrandt's life and is one of his last pictures. He died on 4 October 1669 and was buried in the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt painted more self portraits than any other artist of the 17th century. The National Gallery has two of them, separated by nearly thirty years. In this late picture, the artist wears a deep red coat and a beret, his hands clasped before him. The viewer is confronted by his steady gaze. Rembrandt painted and etched self portraits throughout his life, but those executed in his final years, in which he presents himself in a reflective mood, are among the most poignant and challenging.

The painting was cleaned in 1967, revealing the damaged signature and date. The X-ray of the picture reveals two pentimenti (alterations to the design). First, a change in the size and colour of the beret, which was originally much larger and all white. Secondly, the original position of the hands was open and he was holding a paintbrush. Repainting the hands clasped and without the brush reduces their dramatic impact and draws attention back to the face.

Detail from Rembrandt, 'Self Portrait at the Age of 63', 1669 ©️ The National Gallery, London.

#nationalgallery #selfportrait #rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting


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Walking into Room 22, Rembrandt's arresting portrait of Frederick Rihel on horseback is probably the first painting you'll notice.

Frederick Rihel came from Strasbourg and is first mentioned in Amsterdam in 1642, remaining there as a successful merchant until his death in 1681. As an official of the civic guard he took part in the procession which welcomed the Prince of Orange into Amsterdam in 1660.
This seems to be the occasion portrayed here judging by Frederick Rihel's ornate dress and the glimpses of the procession winding along behind him. Rihel wears a buff jerkin with sleeves and cuffs decorated with gold thread; he has a large white sash, sword and pistol and rides a horse which is performing a levade.
Attribution of this painting to Rembrandt has on occasion been questioned on the grounds that the horse is more stiffly painted than the figure. This may be explained by the fact that Rembrandt rarely painted horses. The inventory of Rihel's possessions made after his death mentions a portrait of him on horseback by Rembrandt, suggesting that the attribution is correct.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Tom Patterson.

#rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting #frederickrihel #horseback


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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Leiden in the Netherlands #OnThisDay in 1606.
Did you know that Rembrandt painted more self portraits than any other 17th century artist? He painted this self portrait at the height of his career aged 34, presenting himself in a self-assured pose wearing an elaborate costume in the fashion of the 16th century.
It seems as if Rembrandt refers deliberately to his famous predecessors in this portrait, and thus places himself in the tradition of great 'Old Masters'. The word 'conterfeycel' (more properly conterfeytsel) is an archaic Dutch term for portrait.

Detail from Rembrandt, 'Self Portrait at the Age of 34', 1640 ©️ The National Gallery, London.

#nationalgallery #selfportrait #rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting


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'Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire' is now open in Room 1, displaying a series of works by Ruscha which span two decades.

Ed Ruscha painted five black and white canvases of 'Blue Collar' in 1992, two of which can be seen here. More than a decade later, beginning in 2003 he painted five more in colour, exhibiting all ten under the title 'Course of Empire' in the United States Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The paintings look up at the tops of box-like industrial buildings in Los Angeles, where Ruscha lives. In the first series, the functions of buildings are clear. Each painting in the colour series say Ruscha, is "an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape". Each revisits the site of the first series, but now functions are ambiguous. Tool & Die, for example, now appears to be a Korean concern. The lot of the American blue-collar worker is changing.
Come and see these ten monumental paintings by one of America's greatest landscapes in Room 1, until 7 October.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Maria Conroy.

#edruscha #nationalgallery #instamuseum #venicebiennale #courseofempire


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'Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire' is now open in Room 1, displaying a series of works by Ruscha which span two decades.

Ed Ruscha painted five black and white canvases of 'Blue Collar' in 1992, two of which can be seen here. More than a decade later, beginning in 2003 he painted five more in colour, exhibiting all ten under the title 'Course of Empire' in the United States Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The paintings look up at the tops of box-like industrial buildings in Los Angeles, where Ruscha lives. In the first series, the functions of buildings are clear. Each painting in the colour series say Ruscha, is "an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape". Each revisits the site of the first series, but now functions are ambiguous. The Trade School, for example, has gone out of business. The lot of the American blue-collar worker is changing.
Come and see these ten monumental paintings by one of America's greatest landscapes in Room 1, until 7 October.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Maria Conroy.

#edruscha #nationalgallery #instamuseum #venicebiennale #courseofempire


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'Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire' is now open in Room 1, displaying a series of works by Ruscha which span two decades.

Ed Ruscha painted five black and white canvases of 'Blue Collar' in 1992, two of which can be seen here. More than a decade later, beginning in 2003 he painted five more in colour, exhibiting all ten under the title 'Course of Empire' in the United States Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The paintings look up at the tops of box-like industrial buildings in Los Angeles, where Ruscha lives. In the first series, the functions of buildings are clear. Each painting in the colour series say Ruscha, is "an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape". Each revisits the site of the first series, but now functions are ambiguous. The Trade School, for example, has gone out of business. The lot of the American blue-collar worker is changing.
Come and see these ten monumental paintings by one of America's greatest landscapes in Room 1, until 7 October.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Maria Conroy.

#edruscha #nationalgallery #instamuseum #venicebiennale #courseofempire


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Tomorrow night, our Young Producers present: Force of nature, a special Late in the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm. Click the link in our bio to find out more!

At a time when both the planet and our species are closer than ever to destruction, Thomas Cole’s prediction that interfering with nature would lead to our downfall is more important than ever.

Now is the time for action. Come along to the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm to learn, discover, and be in awe of the power of our planet. Experiment with poetry and art, and protest; test your knowledge and share memories in a storytelling circle.

Events are free and will run throughout the evening with workshops from @poet_in_the_city, @galdemzine, @pintofscience, and more.

Click the link in our bio to find out more!

#nationalgallery #thomascole #nature #environment #planet #poetry #fridaylate #freeevent #freelondon #whatsonlondon #fridaynight #ngyoungproducers


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This Friday, our Young Producers present: Force of nature, a special Late in the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm. Click the link in our bio to find out more!

At a time when both the planet and our species are closer than ever to destruction, Thomas Cole’s prediction that interfering with nature would lead to our downfall is more important than ever.

Now is the time for action. Come along to the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm to learn, discover, and be in awe of the power of our planet. Experiment with poetry and art, and protest; test your knowledge and share memories in a storytelling circle.

Events are free and will run throughout the evening with workshops from @poet_in_the_city, @galdemzine, @pintofscience, and more.

Admission to ‘Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire’ is free for under-25s on the night. (Please bring ID showing date of birth to gain entry.) Click the link in our bio to find out more!

#nationalgallery #thomascole #nature #environment #planet #poetry #fridaylate #freeevent #freelondon #whatsonlondon #fridaynight #ngyoungproducers


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This Friday, our Young Producers present: Force of nature, a special Late in the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm. Click the link in our bio to find out more!

At a time when both the planet and our species are closer than ever to destruction, Thomas Cole’s prediction that interfering with nature would lead to our downfall is more important than ever.

Now is the time for action. Come along to the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm to learn, discover, and be in awe of the power of our planet. Experiment with poetry and art, and protest; test your knowledge and share memories in a storytelling circle.

Events are free and will run throughout the evening with workshops from @poet_in_the_city, @galdemzine, @pintofscience, and more.

Admission to ‘Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire’ is free for under-25s on the night. (Please bring ID showing date of birth to gain entry.) Click the link in our bio to find out more!

#nationalgallery #thomascole #nature #environment #planet #poetry #fridaylate #freeevent #freelondon #whatsonlondon #fridaynight #ngyoungproducers


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