El Greco: Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple (1600)
(National Gallery, London, UK)Today is Holy Monday, the second day in the Holy Week (the period from palmsunday to Easter). According to the Bible several events took place on this day, the most important being the cleansing of the temple. This painting by the famous 16th/ 17th century Greek artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos (better known by his nickname El Greco - 'the greek') shows this event. The gospels tell us that Jesus vistis the temple in Jerusalem (Herod's Temple, which stood on the temple mount were now the Dome of the Rock stands). Upon entering this holy place, Jesus saw that the courtyard of the temple was filled with livestock and money changers who changed the Greek and Roman currency into the local currency. Angered by this, Jesus took a whip and drove everybody out by claiming 'Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade'(John 2:13-16). El Greco painting this episode 5 times, this is the so-called London-version. Painting from around 1600.