Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, late 1600s - late 1660s)
Date1635; 17th-early 18th century impression
DimensionsSheet : 5 5/8 x 6 7/8 in. (14.29 x 17.46 cm)
Credit LineThe Sarah and Grace Collection
LabelAll four gospels say that when Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, Jesus was outraged to find merchants and money changers operating in the temple courtyard. He accused them of turning the holy site into a “den of thieves” and drove them out with a whip made of cords. Here Rembrandt conveys the inherent drama of the scene by placing Christ at the center of the composition, his body torqued as he raises the whip to strike the merchants and money changers who cower before him. The expressions on the faces of the people and animals surrounding Jesus clearly show the shock and confusion caused by the sudden explosion of his righteous anger. The frenetic cross-hatching and jagged line-drawing further enhance the feeling of energy and emotion in the image.