Rembrandt van Rijn

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple by Rembrandt van Rijn

Artwork Detail

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)

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
Rembrandt van Rijn
Production date
137 x 169 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1976
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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