I have been taking trips to to the MIA since I was a little girl. My grandma took me to see children's theatre plays and to explore the museum. When I realized that I wanted to make art my life, I started looking at the pieces very differently.One day I took an extra look at Rembrandt's Lucretia. I instantly noticed the power and emotion in the brush strokes. I was drawn into her eyes. I had never seen a work that conveyed such raw and uncomplicated human emotion. Usually the viewer needs to see a story or understand the context for the feeling to be communicated, but thin this piece all you need to do is look in her eyes.
The technique is flawless. You can see very fine detail without there being fine and intricate brush strokes. The eyes are a different story though. I can see every glint and glimmer of the light reflecting off the tears in her eyes.
Once you get past the initial impression of the painting, you can look into the subject matter. Lucretia was the wife of a Roman noble man. She had been raped by the Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the tyrant in power at that time. The day after it happened, she told her father and husband about it and decided to kill herself right then. She chose "death over dishonor." The image shown it the momen right after she stabbed herself in the presence of her husband and father.
You can see what she was thinking in her expression. She was sad and ashamed of herself for what happened, but she knew she had to do something about it. To her, this was the right choice. She is sorry that she had to die, but it needed to happen in order to protect the people that she loved.
I may know the story behind this beautiful painting, but I wouldn't have to in order to understand what she was feeling. That makes this painting a masterpiece. That is what I try to achieve with my works. I want the viewer to instantly feel my meaning upon looking at my work.