Research Paper About 1660 Rembrandt' Self Portrait

Words: 1964
Pages: 8

No artist has left a loftier or more penetrating personal testament than Rembrandt van Rijn. In more than 90 portraits of himself that date from the outset of his career in the 1620s to the year of his death in 1669, he created an autobiography in art that is the equal of the finest ever produced in literature even of the intimately analytical Confessions of St. Augustine.1 Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606– 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.
Having achieved youthful success as a portrait
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Commentators have discovered through x-ray examination of his self-portraits that Rembrandt sometimes painted himself in such white caps only to replace them later with darker ones (like in this case), such as colored turbans.
As the light leaves the hat, it reflects next most brightly on the highest spots of Rembrandt’s forehead, the only other place in the frame where loss of detail occurs in the light’s intensity. This detail visually ties Rembrandt’s flesh and blood humanity to the inspiration of the painting act, as if to highlight the role of human effort, intelligence and imagination in the process. All else in the frame falls quickly away in the sharply diminishing light characteristic of his chiaroscuro style.6 As the light continues downward it glances the outer lid of Rembrandt’s right eye, then highlights the protruding ridges of the sagging, wrinkled bags and lines beneath it, reflects off the bulbous tip of his nose, and illuminates the fatty folds of skin along the side of his neck. These details suggest Rembrandt’s awareness of passing time, and of the physical signs of his mortality. He could have painted these details under a softer light without