“Light is prettiest in the dark.”
A number of years ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Europe. One highlight was a visit to the Rikkmuseum in Amsterdam. There I absorbed the old art by famous painters such as Van Gogh, Vermeer, Marten, Asselijn and Rembrandt. It was a truly delightful experience.
One of the portraits that intrigued me most was the famous piece by Rembrandt named The Night Watch, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642
Undoubtedly his best-known masterpiece, which is said to have marked a turning point in the artist’s career, takes pride of place in its own gallery. The large-scale painting depicts guardsmen getting into formation, with a young girl in the foreground rumoured to be modelled on Rembrandt’s late wife. The grand space is dedicated to Rembrandt’s vision .
There was seating all around the centre of the room where one can gaze at the painting from various angles. I was struck by the darkness of the room and the picture itself , which was huge along the wall. My gaze centred on the people depicted in front. This was my first introduction to what is called Rembrandt lighting.
Rembrandt lighting was named after of the great master, who often used it in his own portraits. The idea is to create a small inverted triangle of light on the subject’s cheek that is opposite the light source. This is very flattering (especially for people with prominent cheekbone structure) and was often used in old Hollywood portraits. Teachers say that it is important to ensure that you get catch lights in both eyes.
Since then I’ve been mindful of this thought. There’s no wrong in darkness, only a brief departure from the light. To understand the darkness in others, it serves us to know our own darkness. Rembrandt knew his subjects well.
Let’s show ourselves some light. Allow yourself to be inspired to let go of the need to stay in darkness—your entire life isn’t meant to be a struggle, but if you think it is, that’s what it’ll be for you.
The trick isn’t to drown the darkness with light, or to replace the negativity with positivity, but to bring the darkness to the light, like an offering.
This is my offering today to you.❤️