Saint Matthew and the Angel by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rhine

Saint Matthew and the Angel by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rhine

One of a series of portraits of the apostles, written in the early 60s. Unlike other single-figure portraits, here behind the apostle is an angel inspiring Matthew to write the Gospel. The angel is very reminiscent of Titus, which could well be a model for him, but the apostle is clearly not Rembrandt in appearance.

In addition to the religious meaning, the picture remarkably conveys the contrast between youth and old age, although the roles are opposite in design. An angelic young man, calm, confident, comforts Matthew, putting his hand on the old man’s shoulder. St. Matthew is deep in thought, his hand with swollen veins pulls his beard. The book is hardly an exact reproduction of an ancient manuscript, however it was written masterfully.

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