The Prodigal Son in the Tavern is a painting created by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1635. The painting is an interpretation of the parable about a young son who squanders his inheritance but is welcomed back with open arms by his father. In this piece, Rembrandt places himself and his wife Saskia as the prodigal son and a girl of easy virtue. However, he includes other figures not related to the parable, such as drinkers and musicians.
Rembrandt was known for capturing complex emotional expressions in his paintings, and “The Prodigal Son in the Tavern” is no exception. The figure of the prodigal son displays symbols of contrition, charity, unlimited love, and lament. This painting serves as a precursor to Rembrandt’s final word on mercy through his painting titled “The Return of the Prodigal Son.”
As an expert on Baroque art, I can attest that “The Prodigal Son in the Tavern” showcases Rembrandt’s mastery over light and shadow techniques (chiaroscuro). He employed dramatic contrasts between colors and tones to create visual depth and emotion within each figure depicted. This oil painting reproduction captures these details while utilizing high-quality materials such as artist-grade canvas and oil paints.