Years ago Todd and I went to Boston on an anniversary trip and visited one of my favorite museums, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. What makes this museum unique is that the founder, Isabella Stewart Gardner, herself a unique person, arranged the art and artifacts in the museum according to her preference rather than chronology. Unlike other museums that might have a room of Roman artifacts or a gallery of Impressionist art, in Isabella’s museum everything is thrown together in an amazingly harmonious assembly. Her will stipulates that the collection must continue to be displayed as it is with no additions or major changes. And, if it isn’t, then the whole museum and everything in it is to be sold.
But when Todd and I went, one of the paintings in the collection that we did not have the chance to see was Rembrandt’s “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” This particular painting along with 12 others was stolen from the museum in 1990 and remains missing. I was able to buy a print of it in the gift shop, and we used this print as the centerpiece in a Visio Divina installation for Lent in the Kingsway prayer room.
However, you don’t need a prayer room to engage this work of art with Visio Divina. This is something that could be done individually or online in a Zoom session with someone facilitating.
A high resolution image of the painting “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee” is available on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website, here. The image can be downloaded for personal and non-commercial use from this webpage. By clicking on the painting’s image you are also able to zoom in extremely closely and see the smallest details down to the brush stroke. It’s really a great opportunity to get an up close look at this masterpiece.
Todd has created this Guide to the Spiritual Practice Visio Divina which gives some details on the history of this spiritual practice and breaks the process down into five simple steps.
To help participants in our prayer room engage with Rembrandt’s “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee” I created this guide which can be downloaded.
Use this link to download Call to Worship PDF. Sized to fit one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Can also be emailed for individual or online group participation. Please respect the creativity and hard work of our writers and include attribute.