Boris, Peter, Cain Slaying Abel, 2013

Boris, Peter Paul Rubens, Cain Slaying Abel, 1608-09

Paul Rubens, Cain Slaying Abel, 1608-09.

I picked this painting because of the way the artist Rubens used such detail and subtle colours to portray a dramatic and heinous scene. The mystery behind what compels one man to kill another ignited my interest. This question provided a gateway into my research, where I learnt it is a biblical story of two brothers, Abel, who was obedient to God, and Cain, who defied God. Going deeper into this story, the mystery and drama inspired me to start experimenting photographically. Before creating my work I also looked at Film Noir and German Expressionism. The final outcome of my work is monochromatic photography, where I used shadow and silhouettes to create a dramatic atmosphere as well as hidden symbolism in the patterns they create.

Inspired by:

Peter Paul Rubens, Cain Slaying Abel, 1608-09

Peter Paul Rubens, Cain Slaying Abel, 1608-09

Cain and Abel were the two eldest sons of Adam and Eve. Both made offerings to God but when Cain’s sacrifice was rejected he killed his brother in a jealous rage. In this early painting by Rubens, the figures are still heavily influenced by the artist’s experience in Italy, particularly his study of the sculpture of classical antiquity and the work of Michelangelo.