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The Massacre of the Innocents (ca. 1638) detail

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posted by alias A.Davey on Tuesday 28th of July 2020 01:36:23 PM

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) Bethlehemitischer Kindermord Oil on oak panel 198,5 x 302,2 cm Inv. Nr. 572 From the Elector's gallery, Munich Alte Pinakothek, Munich When, after the birth of Christ, the arrival of the 'King of the Jews' was prophesied, King Herod ordered all children under the age of two to be killed. Rubens painted the mothers' futile battle as well as their anger: Like Furies, they attack a man whose movement echoes that in 'Laocoon'. At that time, Classical sculpture was considered the quintessential expression of pain. This subject was deemed appropriate for the decoration of town halls. It shows the negative consequences of improper rule and serves as a reminder to govern justly and modestly. Inv. Nr. 572 From the Elector's gallery, Munich More About this Artwork When, after the birth of Christ, the arrival of the 'King of the Jews' was prophesied, King Herod ordered all children under the age of two to be killed. Rubens painted the mothers' futile battle as well as their anger: Like Furies, they attack a man whose movement echoes that in 'Laocoon'. At that time, Classical sculpture was considered the quintessential expression of pain. This subject was deemed appropriate for the decoration of town halls. It shows the negative consequences of improper rule and serves as a reminder to govern justly and modestly. The cruel slaughter from the Gospel of Matthew (2.16-18) is a compositional masterpiece of the late Rubens. The plot has three main groups, in which the same interplay of lust for murder and despair, brutal killing and furious but hopeless resistance takes place. The groups on the left and right are formed as closed units. The middle one leads the eye - starting from the woman, who is designed as a monument to motherly despair, who raises a bloody diaper to the sky - to the palace, where Herod is waiting for a report. www.sammlung.pinakothek.de/en/artist/peter-paul-rubens/de...



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  • Published 07.01.22
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