A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

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The year is 1612. A girl has just been raped. She rushes home. She finds a dagger. The girl is overwhelmed by guilt. To protect her family honor she takes her own life. This story is depicted in a single painting by the famous artist Rembrandt. It depicts a girl with a knife plunged through her stomach. The blood ruining her white dress. Her family is running down the steps in the background, but they are to late. The girl is dead. Imagine discovering that your daughter has been raped and that she has taken her own life. The raw emotion would be crippling. Imagine that a painter could take the guilt, anger, sadness, frustration, and every thing you felt at that moment and put it on a canvas. That is what Rembrandt did. A picture is worth a thousand words. Last winter I visited the Rembrandt exhibit in Raleigh at the North Carolina Art Museum. It featured the largest collection of Rembrandt paintings ever presented in an American exhibition. One of the most famous paintings was “The Suicide of Lucretia”. That is the painting I just described to you. That girl’s death led to a revolt that overthrew the monarchy and established the Republic of Rome. Rembrandt took great strides to express Lucretia’s mental feelings. It showed her family honor, virtue, and duty all through her eyes and facial expression. This painting not only expresses the emotion of the moment but also the story that this girls life, made on the world. This is why Rembrandt is considered one of the finest Dutch Realist artists. This historical painting is of enormous power and emotion. When I was younger, there was an art museum in Fayetteville. My younger brother enrolled at one of their summer art enrichment camps. One day, my mom and I were waiting to pick up my brother Alex. We decided to tour the museum briefly while we waited. As we walked through the small museum I noticed a saying on of the walls. It said, ”A picture is worth a thousand words.” I didn’t really understand the cliché at the...
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