This work was painted Rembrandt van Rijn in 1642 and can now be seen in the Musée de L'Ermitage from the Russian city of Saint Petersburg.
The scene brings up a biblically based theme that might not have been covered before. We see the reconciliation between the mythicalKing Davidand the third of his sons, Absolon. According to the story, Absolon warned David that they wanted to kill him, and he decided to go into exile. This is how we see the moment when David goes to say goodbye and cries disconsolately.
Rembrandt's Reconciliation of David and Absolon
As usual in otherpaintings by Rembrandtwith this biblical setting, the Dutch painter presents us with highly orientalized characters, something that can also be seen, for example, in the painting by he The Feast of B altasar. And for that inspiration on many occasions it was based on the hustle and bustle of travelers from many origins that were seen in the port of Amsterdam. That's why we see David dressed like a Turk or the kind of cutlass that Absolon carries.
It is about sumptuous clothes and with many jewels. By the way, he wanted to take advantage of these jewels to pose different games of light and brightness on the canvas, and all doing it with less bright tones than those used by two other giants ofartbaroque: the Belgian Pieter Paulus Rubens and the Spanish Diego Velázquez. Unlike them, Rembrandt chooses to use dark brown colorations, which give the scene a lot of vigor and depth. And it is that this painter used the games of light and shadow not by themselves, but to increase the intensity of his scenes.
In the same year that he painted this painting, 1642, Rembrandt's wife died, and scholars of his painting say that he was inspired by his own personal tragedy when painting that farewell between two people so intimate. In fact, it is said that Absolon's face could have something of a self-portrait. Do not forget that Rembrandt painted himself on several occasions.
In short, this work has a load of feelings, also exoticism, very illuminated characters on a dark background in which they shine, and a disturbing sky, all of them characteristics of the most romantic phase of the pictorial production of Rembrandt, which mainly took place during the forties of the 17th century.