Author: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Title: Carcass of Beef
Location: Musée du Louvre (France – Paris)
Dimensions: Height: 94 cm (37.01 in.), Width: 67 cm (26.38 in.)
Medium: Painting – oil on canvas
In his 1655 painting, The Slaughtered Ox, Rembrandt gives us a disturbing image. We come face to face with a giant ox carcass hanging from a cross beam, its hind legs splayed and skin flayed to reveal the bone, fat, and muscle beneath. The animal dominates the image space; the viewer can find virtually nowhere to look for relief. Even peripheral details, such as the wooden planks of the interior and the clothing of a woman in the background, take on the colors of the slaughtered animal; subdued browns, reds, and whites dominate.
The painting belongs to the later, “impressionistic” part of Rembrandt’s career, as the rather loose brushstrokes indicate. But surely to segue into a discussion of impasto represents a thinly veiled attempt to divert attention from the reality of this image. There is no way to get around it: in his painting, Rembrandt offers not merely thick brushstrokes, but the convincing illusion of dead and soon-to-decay flesh.
Extract Source: thecresset.org
Author: Lisa Deam