The phoenix or the statue overthrown (1658) by Rembrandt

The phoenix or the statue overthrown - Rembrandt - 1658

Artwork Information

TitleThe phoenix or the statue overthrown
Dimensions18 x 18 cm
Art MovementBaroque

About The phoenix or the statue overthrown

The artwork titled “The Phoenix or The Statue Overthrown” is a mythological painting created by the renowned Baroque artist Rembrandt in 1658. It measures 18 x 18 cm, which reflects the intimacy of this intricate work. As typical of the Baroque movement, one may expect the artwork to convey a sense of drama and grandeur despite its modest size.

Upon examining the artwork, one observes a dramatic composition featuring a central figure of a phoenix or some majestic creature with outstretched wings, poised prominently at the center. This figure is flanked by angels, one on each side, whose dynamic poses and actions enhance the overall sense of movement within the work. Below the phoenix is an upended statue, and at the base of the scene lies a toppled figure, which suggests the theme of downfall or a transformation is central to this piece. The detailed rendering of textures, from the feathery wings to the crumbled stone, highlights Rembrandt’s mastery of etching techniques. Rays of light emanate from behind the central phoenix, which conveys a heavenly or transcendental essence to the composition. The background hints at a broader setting with architectural elements and open spaces, which places the fantastical event within a semblance of reality, a characteristic of Rembrandt’s ability to weave the mythical with the mundane.

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