“Dinner at Emmaus”, Jacopo Bassano – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Dinner at Emmaus – Jacopo Bassano. Around 1538.
The biblical story under the common title “Dinner at Emmaus” was widely used specifically in the era of Jacopo Bassano – before the Renaissance, this topic was depicted very rarely.

The story embodied in the picture is this: on the 3rd day after the painful execution of Jesus, two of his disciples meet a wanderer. Students traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus tell the wanderer about the crucifixion and invite him to dinner. And only after breaking bread, two heroes will find out in the wanderer of the risen Christ. The offspring of God blessing the feast-holders, here became invisible to them. The climax is when the disciples find out the crucified Christ, who has miraculously risen, and the painter Bassano portrays us.

Compositional construction of the picture brings a fairly large number of innovations (for the time of Bassano). Pupils are presented to the viewer from an unusual angle – in profile and with their backs. Christ is distinguished from the rest by only a barely noticeable halo behind his head in the form of a cross. Jesus laid his left hand on bread, the fingers of the other folded in a blessed gesture.

The wizard uses a rich palette of colors. It is impossible not to note the red ruby ​​mantle on the student, the bright yellow shirt on the second, and dark turquoise, saturated ocher shades are also used here.

The geometric tile on the floor helps to deepen the space of the picture – it takes the viewer deeper and makes you pay attention to the landscape. The tranquil nature with a blue sky and high pointed mountains seems to emphasize this good news – Jesus, who sacrificed his earthly life, was resurrected to ascend to the kingdom of God forever.

In accordance with the requirements of mannerism, there are many additional elements in the work – a cat, as an embodiment of betrayal, a dog as a sign of fidelity. Here we see the owner of the inn and in the distance more visitors.

In Bassano’s picture, a complex perspective stands next to simplified iconography, realism with vivid decorativeness, emotionality with restraint, transparency of the plot with an abundance of details … The harmonious combination of these markers of various stylistic and aesthetic eras makes Jacopo Bassano so exceptional and unique."

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