Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb, Rembrandt van Rijn
The link is to a zoomable version on Google Art Project; there is a downloadable version of the file on Wikimedia Commons; the original is in the Royal Collection Trust, London, which also has a zooming feature.
In the story of Mary Magdalene arriving at the tomb of Jesus, to find the tomb empty and angels there in his place, Rembrandt has chosen the moment just before her realization that the figure dressed as a grave-tending gardener, is in fact, the resurrected Jesus.
In selecting a moment of impending drama, rather than the more overt moment of realization, Rembrandt has emphasized the tension of the scene. Everything about the composition and lighting is dramatically theatrical, the dark clouds blend into the rocky hillside in a sweeping arc, and the figures are highlighted amid the breaking light on the stage-like setting of the stairs to the tomb entrance.
Sunlight splashes across the faces of both figures, alighting with particular force on Mary, her upturned face half in light, half in shadow.
I’ve never heard if any scholars consider this work unfinished, but elements of it seem very sketch-like to me. Most of the background is thinly applied earth color, much like an underpainting, with touches of low-chroma greens, also thinly applied. The figures are more fully realized, and there is considerable detail in the background, including architectural details and small figures.
I enjoy many of the little touches, such as the still-life character of the urn next to Mary Magdalene, and the unusual foreground foliage, which seems odd to me, but may have a significance I don’t happen to recognize.
I love the way the angels seem to be just nonchalantly hanging out at the tomb.