Rembrandt in the Storm

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) painted only one seascape: Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633) — the original remains missing to this day with its theft from a Boston estate in 1990. Disciples Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record this event. Here is a link to the painting, which you can explore in detail.

I have pondered this picture long and continue to do so. See how Rembrandt has placed himself in the boat? He is looking straight at you, holding onto his cap while the perplexed disciples try to stabilize the ship (or hunker down) while the rest awaken the Master with the cry, “Teacher, don’t you not care if we perish?”

“What is going to happen?” Rembrandt whispers to you through the tumult. “What is the Lord going to do? Come and see!”

Between the heaving of the waves and dipping of the gunwhales, Rembrandt keeps his eye on us.  Then he winks.

“Ah, I see you are here, aren’t you. The storm reaches to your side of the canvas. It is your storm I find myself in. And He is here with us. Together.”

“Fear not,” the painter grins. “I know the end of this story.”

~ km