I just scrolled through a 5,000-comment thread on reddit
about tiny details and easter eggs in video games, and not a single
one of them mentioned this stolen Rembrandt painting in Bioshock: Infinite
. which I guess I'm not terribly surprised at, seeing as how I myself am an art history major and yet only recognized the painting because I'd seen a really cool video of a digital re-creation of it a few days prior
, and not because I'd learned about it in class. I certainly wasn't looking to recognize any of the paintings on the walls.
it does lead me to wonder, though, as to the history of the series and how it weaves into and diverges from real history. "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" was in the collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston until it was famously stolen in 1990 (along with a dozen other pieces)
; the cities of the Bioshock
series broke away from the rest of human civilization far, far earlier than that. I haven't yet played the original Bioshock
so I can't speak to Rapture, but Columbia in Infinite
looks to be some kind of steampunk remix of the early 1900s. so how, exactly, in the history of the city's founding, did they manage to get their hands on this Rembrandt piece? why do they have it? what other works of art, if any, should I be looking for here?
and what were the intentions of the game devs in including this piece? was there any thought put into it at all, or were they just like, "hey, we gotta fill up a few spaces here and there just for the sake of aesthetics, Jimmy can you google some stolen artworks to give us a few ideas"?
a quick google search has yielded no insight on this point, save for a Wikipedia article
on the painting that mentions its appearance in Infinite
.* no one has even mentioned it on the game's dedicated subreddit
, and that is weird to me, given both the wild popularity of the game and the fact that, well, it's fucking reddit. everything
is on reddit.
it's also entirely possible that my education in art history causing me to read far too much into it?
or I could... you know... just finish the damn game.
*I went back clicked on the reference in the Wiki article hoping to learn more, and got this screenshot
. compare with the one I took while I was playing
. same painting and frame; different wall and lighting. so it's probably just stock........ EXCEPT WHAT IF IT ISN'T. WHAT IF!!!!!