Rembrandt Is in the Wind

Learning to Love Art through the Eyes of Faith

by Russ Ramsey, Makoto Fujimura

On Sale: 2022-03-22

Book Summary

Rembrandt Is in the Wind by Russ Ramsey is part art history, part biblical study, part philosophy, and part analysis of the human experience; but it's all story. An invitation to discover some of the world’s most celebrated artists and works, it presents the beauty of the gospel in a way that speaks to our most common struggles and longings.

About the Book

Did you know Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime and that during the last three months of his life he completed an average of one painting every day?

Did you know that Michelangelo's David is covered in a dusting of human skin?

Did you know Caravaggio murdered several people while he was painting some of the most glorious paintings of biblical scenes the world has ever known?

Rembrandt Is in the Wind by Russ Ramsey is an invitation to discover some of the world's most celebrated artists and works, while presenting the gospel of Christ in a way that speaks to the struggles and longings common to the human experience.

The book is part art history, part biblical study, part philosophy, and part analysis of the human experience; but it's all story. The lives of the artists in this book illustrate the struggle of living in this world and point to the beauty of the redemption available to us in Christ. Each story is different. Some conclude with resounding triumph while others end in struggle. But all of them raise important questions about humanity's hunger and capacity for glory, and all of them teach us to love and see beauty.


'Here's what I love about Russ Ramsey's latest project--it understands down deep that Truth is exclusive to no party or sect; that Goodness arrives in the form of the lonely, the ill, and the outcast; and that Beauty, amid the church's moral twilight, might be the last apologetic that holds.'

'Sometimes, when standing at a museum, I think to myself 'I wish somebody who knows something would explain this to me.' And I look around and see, on one side of me, someone expertly pointing out every intricacy in the painting and, on the other, someone bored and looking at a phone in hand. Somehow this book is able to captivate people in all those categories. In this book, Russ Ramsey walks us through a museum of artists and art works, showing how each of them illuminates something about God, humanity, and the meaning of life. And this book does so in a way that won't bore the expert or intimidate the novice. Those who love art will find here new paths to the gospel. And those who love the gospel will find that they can love art. That's a lot to ask from a book, and this one delivers.'

'In days fractured by those who aim to seize power, darkened by those who play dirty politics, and clouded by those who use platforms to polarize, perhaps the artists can lead us home. The artists featured in these pages, artists who devoted their life and work to what is good, true, and beautiful, remind us that we can--and should--do the same.'

'Russ Ramsey has gone deep into the histories of nine artists and their masterworks, revealing how each struggled--in both their giftedness and fallenness--to create beauty. I am reminded anew of how beauty leads us to God, 'the Author of beauty.' I cannot wait to share this book!'

'Encountering paintings drawings and sculpture as a little boy set me up for my life arc. Encountering Christ set me up for a lifelong love affair with my creator. Russ has gone to great lengths to examine art and faith in a way that helps us define our path forward. Art making is sometimes a lonely experience relying on one's own imagination and talent. This book illustrates the tight wire one must balance on to find the peace and beauty in expression. It's often difficult to maintain balance with all life offers is pulling on us. Rembrandt in the wind helps us find a way forward by the examples and stories of art makers who have gone before us.'

'It is easy to believe that enjoying and understanding 'Art' is only for those who have a PhD in Art History. Russ Ramsey reminds us how simple and holy it is to be stirred by the mystery of images.'

'Art and the act of creating is essential. We must remember that without it, we would not be here. To notice beauty is to be fully alive and without the act of intimately engaging life, we are numb to ourselves and to the world around us. Ramsey points us towards God through the raw, sensual power of the art, disrupting our unconscious lives that often want to grasp for whatever makes us un-feel.'

'Ramsey is a deep lover of art and a student of art history. In this book he takes the reader on an amazing guided tour through an art museum that doesn't exist. In this carefully curated collection of art from around the world, he offers you an experience that only someone who really loves art can. This book inspires the reader to engage art in an eye-opening way and understand how these famous works of art bring glory to God.'

'Ramsey leads us well into one of the best possible uses of our time--engaging with art and beauty.'

'Russ Ramsey was kind enough to give me an early chapter of this book a few years ago when I was preparing to go on a silent retreat and asked him for a work of art I might spend some time meditating on during my weekend away. Thanks to Russ's recommendation, I spent hours contemplating Rembrandt's painting, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. I was shaken by the depiction of this scene and the disciples' question to Jesus, 'Do you not care that we are perishing?' Russ's gentle shepherding of my understanding regarding the painting and the Biblical story behind it was a balm in my life just when I needed it. I know that this book will be the same for you.'

'Russ Ramsey doesn't just see some of the wonders seen and painted by great artists of the past, but even more wonderfully, he helps us see them too. Yet it is full of surprises. What he offers is never a matter of beauty for its own sake, although we are drawn into a glorious journey of beauty down the ages; nor is it one of artistic skills and accomplishments, although every one of the artists he focuses on could easily claim to have mastered their art; nor even can this book be distilled into a mere, fascinating overview of five centuries of human creativity (even though the story told provides a superb entry-point to the novice keen to learn more). The greatest joy of this book, however, is that the accumulative effect of these nine artists has helped me glimpse something of the world and of humanity as God our Creator sees us. And what a gift that is!'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2022-03-22
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2022-03-22
  • Trim Size: 142.000mm x 221.000mm x 22.000mm
  • Weight: 444.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christianity / Literature & the Arts
  • Category 2 : ART / History / Renaissance
  • Category 3 : ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / History