I love a good mystery. And lately I have been listening to ( Librivox.org.) audio books on the web, while I paint in the studio. Last week was Sherlock Holmes.
There isn't a great story that goes with this painting, but to me, it might be fun to try and create a good mystery around the title "The Mystery of the Tangerines and Cut Glass".
My hero with dramatic light has always been Rembrandt. He is a great orchestrator of light. A great story teller. You can't help but be drawn to the areas he wants you to look at in his paintings. But I never imagined there could be a mystery in one of them.
I love to watch videos or documentaries about great artists. Especially, when they explore the conditions the artist was painting under or explain what every day life was like for people during that time period. Here are two documentaries looking at the same painting by Rembrandt, "The Nightwatch". But, like my days in engineering,(If you ask two engineers to solve a problem you will get twenty three different solutions) you will see that art historians can weave different stories from the same painting.
The first one is a clip (about 9 minutes) from a great series on Rembrandt by Simon Schama (click here to watch) This is the more conventional interpretation with a creative way to discuss the painting.
The other is actually a short movie/documentary (1hr 40 min.) and the best art movie/mystery I have ever seen called Rembrandt's J'accuse, (click here to view)
Which do you believe is the real story behind the painting?