Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple; Rembrandt van Rijn; 1635; 197...


Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple

About this object

Rembrandt's prolific output of drawings, etchings and oil paintings represents the height of Dutch artistic achievement in the seventeenth century. A master of the expressive use of light, shadow, line and gesture, Rembrandt never left Holland or made the obligatory artist's journey to Italy to absorb the classical spirit of art. Instead he revitalised the stories of scripture and classical mythology in terms of the life he saw around him in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam where he lived. The composition of Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple, which is based on a painting Rembrandt made ten years earlier when he was only 19, revolves around Christ's hand holding the scourge in the centre of the picture. The raised hand is bathed in light, Christ's face almost hidden in shadow. The figure is borrowed from Dürer's woodcut of the same subject, Small Woodcut Passion, c1508, although Rembrandt has reversed the pose. His prints from this period show a predominantly linear style, characterised by a vigorous calligraphic energy that reinforces the violent movement of the subject. The point of Rembrandt's etching-needle seems to weave the image from a continuous thread, with lines that loop sinuously back and forth like the thongs of Christ's scourge, leading the viewer from one part of the scene to another. (from The Guide, 2001)


Rembrandt van Rijn

Maker Role


Date Made


Medium and Materials



137 x 169mm

Subject and Association Description

Christianity, religious art, temples, thieves, anger, dogs, goats, men

Credit Line

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased 1976

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Public Domain - No rights reserved - no known copyright restrictions No rights reserved - no known copyright restrictions

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