Feast of Belshazzar

Primary Creator
Painter Rembrandt Van Rijn
Height65 inches
Width82 inches
Name of WorkFeast of Belshazzar
Production Date1635c.
Production Location

Current Location

Media Typesoil
General Notes

This painting doesn't fall into a fine art work, because it is primarily symbolic and literary. To understand it, you need to know the book of Daniel and thus the painting is not projecting a world view, or a theme based on its painterly qualities primarily.


A scene from the Book of Daniel (from the Bible?) showing excessive sumptuous feasting. It is a brilliantly painted scene of opulence interrupted by an apparition of God's wrath (I think). The figures are emotionally stupefied in their shock. The tight scene almost becomes a still life with all the attention to detail that is atypical of Rembrandt.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

The only way to know the sense of life or world view of the painting is through it's history, since the image is very mixed. Shows an opulent and sumptuous world, but the people are obviously distressed over something. Assuming one knows its history, you could conclude it is an exercise in depicting the dangers of the worldly pursuits and wealth.


religious, symbolism