Jewish bride - Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn. 121.5 × 166.5 cm
The last picture, The Jewish Bride, is recognized by researchers as the most mysterious canvas in the entire work of the brilliant Rembrandt Van Rijn.
As usual with the painter, the picture gained worldwide fame under the name that Rembrandt himself did not give her. Like The Night Watch, The One Hundred Florin Leaf, and the Jewish Bride were thus named by later viewers and researchers. In 1825, the famous collector from Amsterdam, Van der Hope, gave both the name and the erroneous interpretation of the plot. In particular, he suggested that the canvas depicts a bride and her father, who gives his daughter a beautiful elegant necklace in honor of the wedding.
But the viewer will immediately notice inconsistencies in such an interpretation. If a Jewish girl is going down the aisle, then why does her dress emphasize a voluminous belly that leaves no doubt that the bride is pregnant? And why did the man lean against her so gently, not at all fatherly, putting his hand directly on the bodice of the dress?
Today, scientists unequivocally agree on one thing - this is a couple, husband and wife. But who were they in reality? Opinions are divided on this subject. According to one version, Rembrandt depicted on the canvas his son Titus and his wife Magdalen. This explanation is quite rational, since the creation of the “Jewish Bride” was preceded by the writing of two separate portraits, a son and a daughter-in-law, and the subsequent creation of their pair portrait looks very logical then.
According to another version, shortly before the death of the master, a young couple from the Jewish community came to him (reliable evidence has been preserved), some Abigal de Pina and Miguele de Barrios with an order for a pair portrait. They are, they say, and show off in the painting "The Jewish Bride."
The third version says that the plot of the canvas is based on collective images from famous biblical couples - Judas and Famari, Isaac and Rebecca.
Whoever was depicted in the picture, Rembrandt's innovation was not in choosing a plot, but in its embodiment. It immediately catches the eye how heroes are unusually dressed, they are like artists on the theatrical stage - a handsome men's costume, an amazing magnificent dress. A luxurious combination of red and gold. This is a very characteristic technique for the painter; it’s enough to recall how he dressed up his Saskia (“Flora”) or his mother (“St. Anna”) for portraits.
Heroes emerge from the darkness, although this is a cityscape and the most striking, climax elements are three hands against the background of the bride's dress - a hand with a carnation on the abdomen, a man’s hand on his chest and a heroine’s hand on top of the man’s. Elegant plexus of arms, “breathing” with light, gentle touches.
Thanks to the unusual combination of black, red and gold, the picture turned out to be very original and bright. The master first created the space with color, and only after that gave it volume by inscribing the figures of people.
At the end of his life, fed up with religious and mythological heroes, as well as staged group portraits, Rembrandt creates canvases where the heroes do not do anything - they just live. The Jewish Bride, lyrical and romantic, tender and mysterious, shows only the relationship of a married couple, full of feelings and cares.