Prisoners Excersing

by Vincent Van Gogh (1890)

Prisoners Exercising was painted during Vincent van Gogh’s stay at the asylum in Saint-Rémy.  Van Gogh was a great admirer of the English engravings of that period in which social hardships were harshly but realistically featured. This work is a copy of an engraving by Gustav Dore. Prisoners Exercising is one of the most striking copies of Van Gogh’s career. The subject matter itself is of particular interest, given Vincent’s own self-imposed internment.

2 Corinthians 4:8-18

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

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