Friday, April 18, 2014

40 Days of Paintings - Tenebrae (Joshua LaRock)

I had a different idea for today's painting, but I thought this one would be much more appropriate for today.  So to the unnamed artist who got bumped for this one, sorry.  In honor of Good Friday today, this is Joshua LaRock's "Tenebrae." 
I don't have many words for this painting other than "Masterful."  It is a classic and masterful depiction of the subject, a masterful handling of color, and a masterful rendering of the figure of Christ in particular.  LaRock's painting of the crucifixion here was one of the inspirations for my own painting of the subject.  Although, his is much better.  Joshua LaRock is truly among the champions of realism in the 21st century.  He has so many great pieces, and this is one of his best. 
The muted flesh tones and subtle grays show a Christ that has been drained - of blood, of energy, and of life.  We see Christ as he has taken his last breath, and has been pierced in his side.  And all around him are the black shadows of clouds.  The wood of the cross beams is old and worn, showing the scars and marks of previous crucifixions.  LaRock has honored and glorified Christ, but has not romanticized the brutality of the crucifixion.
As I've said before, the greatest artists at some point have done or should do a depiction of Christ, and the best artists do an excellent job at it.  Joshua LaRock sets an example for those artists today that would want to brave this demanding subject.

Tenebrae (Shadows)
oil on linen

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