Great Work Rejected

As you may know, Rembrandt is one of the most recognized names in art. And he wasn't one of those artists that only became famous after he died - during his lifetime he enjoyed fame and fortune. 

At one point in his career Rembrandt was commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council to paint what would be his largest canvas yet - fifteen feet tall, fifteen feet wide! The painting would be hung in a prominent spot in Town Hall for all to see. The commission was a great honor, and surely would go down in history.

Rembrandt spent nearly a year painting The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilisand presented it to the City Council. The painting was hung in Town Hall as planned. Then, about a month later, for reasons that are not clear, the painting was returned to the artist. Rembrandt was asked to make some changes, and certainly that's what the artist did.

We don't know exactly what was said about his painting, but clearly Rembrandt felt rejected. He took a knife to the canvas, and cut away nearly 75% of the original work. He never returned the painting to Town Hall. Instead he decided to look for another buyer. Maybe he did that to feel he was being true to himself. He certainly could have made the changes, and returned the painting to collect his paycheck. 

Rejection is something we all face, and it's a signal that something needs to change. We can change what was offered, and hope we've met the expectations for us, or we can change who are making our offering to. What probably won't work is changing nothing and making the same offering where we were previously rejected.