This weekend was the final opportunity to view the DIA Rembrandt’s Faces of Jesus exhibit, and a friend and I braved the first real day of winter here in Michigan to go see it (I’d almost forgotten what 10 degrees with wind chill felt like).
The paintings and drawings were stunning. Particularly some of his smaller gestural sketches and his use of light and shadow in the paintings. But the one element that stood out to me over all others? The presence of a dog in at least half of the pieces on the wall. Whether it was a mangy street dog, or a companion dog in the home, whether it was clearly distinguishable or just a hint of a shadow or outline in the corner or under a table, there was always a dog drawn or painted in when the piece allowed for it.
Like I said. Dogs. They’re pervasive. I wonder how the dogs in Amsterdam felt about Rembrandt’s less traditional approach to painting Jesus?