We all get bored easily if we have the same monotonous routine every day. Some of us get used to it and get over it meaning they are o.k in their comfort zone whereas some of us want to break the chain and want something extra than the regular task. That’s where the term arts comes to the rescue, It might be in the form of music, play, dance, paintings to name a few. Some of us are exceptionally good at these things i.e. arts. One name that struck me years back in the world of arts was Peter Paul Rubens.
Someone had advised me that if you want to know the talent of the artist then look at how the hands and figures are sketched. It shows the real artistic quality of the person.
Peter Paul Rubens was a famous painterin his time. Born on June 28 1577-May 30 1640 .Rubens created a collection that was all a masterpiece. He was the most renowned European artist of his day and now he is widely recognized as one of the foremost painters that ever lived in Western art history. There are many sites dedicated to the ancestry and history of the personal life of Peter Paul Rubens. Some of them are https://www.peterpaulrubens.net/biography.jsp /https://www.theartstory.org/artist/rubens-peter-paul/artworks/#pnt_4
Among all the paintings he painted one of them comes on top. Painted several centuries ago and the painting which is still relevant to this day, is called the Massacre of the Innocents. To put it simply, wars create chaos and disturb society which ultimately leads to death of the innocent people, mostly women and children suffer and get caught in the war and in they get massacred, which is massacre of the innocents.
The painting the Massacre of the Innocents is a visual depiction of King Herod, King of Judea, who found out about the birth of Jesus, and was being called ‘the king of the Jews’. To his shock there was a prophecy which stated of a Jewish King who would redeem the Israelites from Roman rule. King Herod had ordered to kill all male infants under the age of two, the event later would be depicted as ‘massacre of the innocents’. But prior to the roman army could lay hands on there was another prophecy going on. Joseph and Mary(mother Mary) had been visited by an angel and told about King Herod’s intention and his murder march . After which, they took their infant son and fled by night into Egypt and stayed there until Herod had died.Later on the child would come to be known as Jesus. Hence, this painting is significantly important as it provides us with a glimpse of history. At times when cam-recorder did not exist, Peter Paul Rubens has given us an idea about how the massacre was carried out. He did achieve his goal through the painting.Each and every ouch of the paint in the canvas pleads us the anguish and the distress about the blood being shed by the roman army.
The artist asks us to pity the women and their children in the painting as they undergo one of the worst massacre in human history. We can see women desperately trying to wade off soldiers without any success, while at the same time trying to protect their sons.The soldiers overpower them with daggers and muscle.
Just try to go through the painting in details, immerse yourself in it. See the pain of the blood in the eyes of the mothers. You or anyone with a keen eye will be astonished, horrified and surprised by the scale of the art. The painter has gone in so much length as he will travel you back in that era as if it is printed in the morning newspaper of today and the incident took place yesterday. It captures the moment of the terror but still, all the human emotions are expressed within it.
Closer you come
On the far right, we can see a child that is about to have his head struck against a stone pillar. Just below the waist of the killer is the mother of the child looking for mercy and a lady trying to stop the execution. You can notice the blood in the stone pillar and the dead bodies of the babies who are murdered before.
Then there is the moment when the women with her gown is pulled down desperately fighting the soldier. The fight and the moment are so realistic that the woman manages to wade of the soldier as she nails the soldier in the face. We are not sure what happened later on but the outcome is very sure.
This painting calls out the disregard for human life, the evil of the state, the release of male violence,the powerlessness of the women and children.
It is one of the world’s most expensive portrait. At the Sotheby’s auction in 2002, it was sold for £49.5 million making it the most expensive painting in the U.K and in Europe to date.
War creates violence, soldiers are turned into killing machine and they are stripped off their human emotions. These are all times of survival. Peter Paul Rubens had such a talent with the brush and nearly real-life scenario. We are currently still experiencing war, maybe the way of the war has changed but the outcome is the same. We no longer fight in the battle field with horses and spears, it has become much more technological. Nowadays even soldiers are not mandatory for a invasion, there are automated weapons ready to fire by the pressing of a button and things like drones and robots instead of humans. It looks like a never-ending circle of shedding up human blood, bodies torn apart without a single thought. One thing looks so sure that during a period of violence and war, only fraction of people responsible are there whereas the rest are all the innocent people, their family, the children and kids who has no idea of what is going on. Some justify it by saying the good news is never a piece of news.
The original painting can be found at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada. It is not expected to leave the museum so soon for a world tour and its value increases every passing year.If you ever happen to visit the gallery in Ontario, Canada make sure to look for the massacre of the innocent. It is worth your eyes and you might also be the one to witness the massacre.
Such is the power of this image that you can almost hear the screams.
If you want to download the following picture, just right click and continue as save as…but please do remember do not use the replica to publish publicly, use it as a frame photo in your office/work, use it to offend someone and send it as a greeting card to someone. Also do not use this to earn money by any means of the picture. This is for your reference base only, respect the artist for his amazing work and do send some lovely gestures towards the artist of this article. You will be blessed.
The Massacre of the Innocents- Peter Paul Rubens