Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640

Christ and the penitent sinners

oil on panel (144 × 128 cm) — 1617 Museum Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Peter Paul Rubens biography

This work is linked to Luke 23:28

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Christ talks with an interesting group of sinners. This episode is not in the Bible.

The kneeling figure is Mary Magdalene, the former prostitute, known for her love of Christ.

The man with the cross is one of the criminals that were crucified together with Jesus. He showed remorse over his sins.

Next to him, with a crown on his head, is king David, an ancestor of Christ. In the Old Testament he desired Bathsheba, the wife of one of his officers. In order to marry her, David had her husband killed. Eventually he realised he had sinned and was forgiven by God.

Dressed in green is Peter, the apostle who denied knowing Jesus three times. It wasn't until a rooster crowed that Peter remembered that Christ had predicted the denial.

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