Dinner at Emmaus - Jacopo Bassano. Around 1538.
The biblical story under the common name "Dinner at Emmaus" was widely used precisely in the era of Jacopo Bassano - until the Renaissance this theme was depicted extremely rarely.
The story embodied in the picture is this: on the third day after the martyrdom of Jesus, two of his disciples meet a wanderer. Students traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus tell the wanderer about the crucifixion and invite him to dinner. And only after breaking bread, two heroes recognize in the wanderer of the risen Christ. The Son of God, having blessed those who had meals, immediately became invisible to them. The culmination moment when the disciples recognize the crucified Christ, miraculously resurrected, and depicts us the painter Bassano.
The compositional construction of the picture brings a fairly large number of innovations (for Bassano's time). Pupils are presented to the viewer from an unusual angle - in profile and with their backs. Christ is distinguished from the rest by only a barely noticeable halo behind his head in the form of a cross. Jesus laid his left hand on bread, the fingers of the other folded in a blessed gesture.
The master uses a rich color palette. It is impossible not to note the red ruby mantle on the student, the bright yellow shirt on the second, and dark turquoise, saturated ocher shades are also used here.
The geometric tile on the floor helps to deepen the space of the picture - it takes the viewer deeper and makes you pay attention to the landscape. The tranquil nature with a blue sky and high pointed mountains seems to emphasize this good news - Jesus, who sacrificed his earthly life, was resurrected to ascend to the kingdom of God forever.
In accordance with the requirements of mannerism, there are many additional elements in the work - a cat, as an embodiment of betrayal, a dog as a sign of fidelity. Here we see the owner of the inn and in the distance more visitors.
In Bassano’s picture, a complex perspective stands next to simplified iconography, realism with vivid decorativeness, emotionality with restraint, transparency of the plot with an abundance of details ... The harmonious combination of these markers from various stylistic and aesthetic eras makes Jacopo Bassano so exceptional and unique.