Daniel In The Lion Den

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“May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.” This exclamation from Daniel to King Darius, as he comes to see what has become of Daniel in the lion’s den, is exquisitely portrayed in the vision of famous Flemish painter, Peter Paul Rubens. Daniel in the Lions’ Den, painted around 1614 to 1616, brings the story of Daniel from the bible to life in spectacular fashion with his use of contrasting colors, deep shadows, depth, and emotional intensity. Rubens was known for being a painter in the Baroque era and studying many Renaissance artists including Michelangelo and Caravaggio, as well as focusing on the human body in action in his religious…show more content…
The lions take up the remaining space that Daniel does not occupy with 10 in total, all looking at various directions, though none actually looking straight at Daniel. They also all portray different emotions and are facing different directions so we can see them in every angle. The artist emphasized the realism in the lion’s by portraying them in different directions, letting the viewer’s look at every part of the lion. He accomplished this with the use of foreshortening and overlapping to portray depth in the small space. The only lion that seems to be facing Daniel’s direction on the far left is not gazing at him, but beyond him, unaware of Daniel. While the artist makes sure that you have a sense of fear by bringing your attention to certain features of the picture when you first glance at it, the more you look at it, the more you realize Daniel is an extremely safe position, since none of the lions are paying him any mind. Three lions seem to be looking at the same thing, away from Daniel, and beyond the view of the viewer, and the only noticeably angry lion appears to be looking in that same direction as well. They could be looking at the angel that came to protect Daniel, perhaps angry or unaware of what to make of it or at the viewer who first comes into the room to look at the painting. Only the one lion appears angry and the other lions portray a sense of peace and tranquility which is unusual in those animals. Four of them are lying down-two are sleeping, one is looking at something beyond the picture, and the other is also gazing into the opposite direction. The lion on the far right is turned away from us so we can only see his tail. He may be glancing at Daniel, though his eyes are not visible from our line of view. He seems more likely to be staring at the red cloth underneath Daniel, perhaps attracted to its’ color. The lion in the very back is

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