“Christ in the House of Mary and Martha,” Friedrich Overbek – overview of the painting

“Christ in the House of Mary and Martha,” Friedrich Overbek – overview of the painting
“Christ in the House of Mary and Martha,” Friedrich Overbek - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Friedrich Overbek
  • Museum: Berggryun Museum, Berlin
  • Year: 1816

Overview of the painting :

Christ in the house of Mary and Martha is Friedrich Overbek. Oil on canvas. 103 x 85 cm

   Johann Friedrich Overbek, the founder of the Nazareth movement, forever remained in the memory of the descendants as the most noble, spiritually rich artist and citizen. His religious painting was appreciated by contemporaries – it is large-scale, impressive, serious and at the same time romantic and emotional.

   A wonderful confirmation of this is the picture written over 3 years – “Christ in the house of Maria and Martha.”. The author is very reverent in the plot, and his writing style is gentle and soft, emphasizes the depth and elevation of this religious scene.

   On the canvas, Jesus Christ, he wanders a lot with his followers-apostles. And so they stayed in the small village of Bethany in the house of his friend Lazarus, who has two sisters, Martha and Maria.

   In the background, in the opening of the window you can see how his companions harness animals, sit down to rest after long trips. Everyone in the house gladly accepts wanderers and listens to Christ’s teaching of saving the soul and of the first care for it.

   Mary, sitting at the feet of Christ, with humility and reverence for his words. Martha, resting her hand on her side, foams her sister that while she prepares a treat in the kitchen and takes care of placing travelers, Maria sits, forgetting about things.

   What follows the answer of Jesus, who does not rebuke the girl, but regrets that Martha cares and fusss about a lot, but only one thing is needed – attention and fulfillment of the will of God, as Mary seeks to do.

   And everyone understands such a edifying rebuke of Christ. Not so much everyday life as much time to God, listen and read his commandments. Since life is temporary, and God is eternal. And the good that Mary chose – to follow the commandments of God – will remain with her and will never be taken away from her.    The beautiful, pacifying work of Overbek, with the written “Rafaelian” female persons, will surely leave in the soul every trace of true piety.