Art: The Rich Fool from Luke 12

The Rich Fool is not a favorite topic of serious artists. Many of the depictions are illustrative or blatant cartoons (not that we have anything against cartoons).

Here are two from classical art.


Rembrandt painted the rich fool surrounded by books. Books in Rembrandt’s day symbolized vanity. They were a sign of wealth as well. The rich fool is happily surrounded by his treasures, totally unaware of the darkness surrounding him. His candle is about to be snuffed out!

Here is an etching by Hans Holbein the Younger who lived in the 16th century and was active during the years of Reformation.

Holbein-The Rich Fool

Death surprises the rich man and sweeps away the riches along with the man’s life.

Our featured artist today is Jim Jannegt. We’ve featured his work before including just a few weeks ago with his Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jannegt is a contemporary artist, working on a series of paintings depicting the parables.

His painting shown below, which looks so very modern, is based on a medieval art style and careful interpretation of the scripture.

Go to this website and enjoy five short videos of Jannegt describing how he created this painting.

Share the link with your congregations (on your web site before Sunday, if you can). His videos will help your congregation understand this Sunday’s lessons.

Here it is again: