The painting The Abduction of Europa, 1632 is one of Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn's rare mythological subject paintings. The painting was inspired by metamorphoses of Ovid which tells about the capture of Europa and Zeus's seduction. The painting is interpreted to be a reference to Specx career by the art historians. The painting also includes details from the story of Ovid which strengthens the tale location and also tie it to the life of Specx. On the painting, the Europa coastal scene is carried away in waters that are rough by a bull while her friends show horror expressions as they remain on the shore. Rembrandt's painting is set just as Europa is taken away just like the young lady and the bull in the ocean which is portrayed by the art. The essay is a visual analysis of the painting of The Abduction of Europa.
The painting is a piece of oil on a panel that was 65*79 cm. The art is composed of Europa who is a princess Tyre who was playing with her friends on the coast. As they were playing a bull that was beautiful appeared and Europa climbs on the bull which moved with her into the ocean quickly. The bull then transforms into Zeus after Europa and her friends noticed that it was moving further into the sea with no sign of going back to the coast. Europa is then carried to Mount Olympus which is on Crete Island. One young woman drops the flower garland after falling to the ground. The driver of the carriage who was above watches as the bull go away with the princess in horror. On the background of the painting, there is a city that has been covered in mist which is extended along the horizon. The paint was used by Rembrandt to create textures that were intricate on the surface of the water and in the trees especially on the part of the painting where the hooves of the bull touch the water.
The forms and surfaces of the painting have been arranged in a manner that helps achieve a particular effect of shade and light. The art consists of a dark thicket of trees which contrasts with the blue regions of the sky and the sea. The water is reflected off by the sunlight that breaks through the clouds. The one source of light that shines from the left causes variation of degrees of value from extremely reflective white to almost a pitch black. Behind the trees, the sky is foreboding and dark. The carriage and the dresses had varied textures and had highlights of glittering gold. Rembrandt uses color in the painting to bring in a theme of contrast whereby the lady's dresses are red to contrast with the green since the two are considered as being complimentary colors and brings in balance with the motion of the princess on the bull.
The Abduction of Europa painting progresses from the early smooth manner which is characterized by a technique that is fine in the portrayal of illusionistic form to the late rough treatment of paint surfaces that are richly variegated. In the painting, Rembrandt uses his skill of parallel development. A variety of techniques and subject matter have been encompassed on the painting whereby the painting suggest space through leaving of large white parts. The bull is placed in a landscape that is larger which makes the painting to lose the intended dramatic effect as there is nothing available to inform the viewer that the bull is the king of the gods.
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