Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Answering the Call

     Situation in Hand, my post on Rembrandt’s etching The French Bed, has received more hits than any of my other entries, suggesting my audience might be as lowbrow as I am. Then and again, how lowbrow can we be if we’re discussing Rembrandt, one of the giants of Western art? It isn’t like we’re jawing over that picture of dogs playing poker.  Rembrandt was certainly a genius but he was also, like me, an earthy guy, so here’s another etching for your consideration. It depicts the Biblical tale The Good Samaritan. Notice the breathtaking detail Rembrandt achieves, the mastery of cross-hatching, perspective and chiaroscuro—the use of light and shade. But Rembrandt gives us something more, an unabashedly frank detail that might have made a Victorian lady blush and fall off her chair. The dog in the bottom right corner, often cropped in nicer art books, is ignoring all human activity while answering the call of nature. 
     Bad doggie.

Do you have a favorite work of art? Tell us about it, even if it is those dogs playing poker. (Did you notice that one of them is cheating?)   


  1. I've never been a huge fan of art, but I think that is only because- due completely to ineptitude on my part- I can never distinguish a great artist, from someone who just copies the styles of great artist. Or, honestly, just because I can never pronounce artists names and I sound like an idiot when I try to discuss art as a result. The art I do truly find enjoyable I usually find when walking around outdoor exhibits for local artists the city holds downtown.

  2. I've always loved "Starry Night." Something about the way the brush strokes suggest movement and chaos in what is supposed to be a serene scene makes me like it a lot: you can almost hear Van Gogh's troubled mind staring out at a night sky.

    I also liked "Red, Yellow Blue," which I touched on here:

  3. I love art, because of this very reason. A dog taking a poop painted by a Rembrandt - no, not just "a Rembrandt" - THE Rembrandt! I have a feeling there are a lot of these kinds of things in paintings. Now I'm going to be looking for the pooping dog in every painting I see . . . thank, ChCh.