‘Jesus Appears to Thomas’ – Rembrandt reinterpreted

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This exhibition was a commemoration of Rembrandts work. This commemoration was done throughout the world but the Harare show was the only one of its kind in Africa. In this exhibition, Zimbabwean artists within the country and the diaspora were invited to select a work by Rembrandt and recreate or interpret it in their own style and medium. Out of over 120 entries 35 were selected and were shown together with six original prints by Rembrandt belonging to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The exhibition ran from October – November 2019.

About ‘Jesus Appears to Thomas’

My piece was inspired by Rembrandt’s work Christ with Folded arms. I was intrigued by Rembrandt’s depiction of Christ throughout this life and with particular interest to the works of Christ as a solitary figure. The aspect that struck me the most about his exploration of this mystical historical character was his deviating from the normal sources of how Christ was depicted and seeking his own source and interpretation of Christ. I also ditched the common sources of Christ and depicted him in a way more palatable to me. The depiction of Christ today has been imposed on us, and it has been an unspoken taboo to depict him otherwise. In Rembrandt’s depiction, he sought to make Christ more human, more approachable. I took inspiration from that concept and represented Christ after the resurrection, having conquered death but still in the human form and showing human emotion and scars. The work is a snapshot of the time just after Jesus appeared to Thomas who had doubted that Christ had risen and he would only believe after seeing him and putting his finger in his wounds. The solemn emotion on Christ’s face is how I imagined he felt, as he realises that this will be man’s greatest shortcoming, their lack of belief. What has always captivated me about Rembrandt’s work is his use of chiaroscuro, and I explored this technique using one colour with the medium of Linocut printmaking.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – Jesus 

Linocut Print by Baynham Goredema titled "Jesus Appears to Thomas". A reinterpretation of "Rembrandt's Christ with Folded Hands"
“Jesus Appears to Thomas” Linocut, Oil on Washi paper, 285mm x 395mm’
Limited Edition of 7 – Signed 2019

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare in partnership with the Netherlands Embassy in Zimbabwe hosted an exhibition titled Rembrandt@350 – Zimbabwe Remasters a Dutch Icon. 2019 was the 350th anniversary since the death of the Dutch Master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Rembrandt was draughtsman, painter, and printmaker and was celebrated as one of the greatest artists in Dutch history.