Picture in Focus: The Return of the Prodigal Son (After Rembrandt) by Carl Dixon

February 5, 2017

Picture in Focus: The Return of the Prodigal Son (After Rembrandt) by Carl Dixon

As a collector of contemporary sacred art, I not only purchase finished works but also commission new pieces directly from artists to encourage them to explore religious themes. In the weeks leading up to the Lenten season, I will be featuring five such pieces in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection by three artists who took on the challenge of making original artworks for me inspired by Rembrandt's famous painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son. My first featured work is a mixed media, sculpted wood panel painting by Southern Visionary Artist Carl Dixon, who gives us a fairly accurate rendering of the original image in his own distinctive style. Dixon includes telling details like the broken shoe on the Prodigal Son's right foot, focusing our attention on the central image of the aging father reaching down to embrace his fallen son. The forbidding fortress wall in the background is the artist's own invention, suggesting we must leave our places of security and make ourselves vulnerable to give and receive real forgiveness and reconciliation. Dixon's variation on the Rembrandt painting can be viewed in the gallery of his profile page in the Sacred Artists section. (John Kohan)