Project Description

Rembrandt is known for creating nearly one hundred self-portraits. He frequently, minorly altered his appearance in his self-portraits. His facial hair, dress, or expression varies widely throughout the studies. These small changes, for Rembrandt, helped him to increase his self-understanding. Here, he depicts himself at a window drawing at his desk. The shading of etching techniques allows him to create a sunlight effect across his face coming from the window. There is little detail outside of the room, but as the viewer’s eye moves into the room, more can be found within his face and attire. The lines move closer together as the sunlight fades into the room, creating shade that fades to black. Rembrandt is experimenting here with features such as the mustache, placement of the eyebrows, and the concerned emotion that crosses his face. These are all details that might have been changed from Rembrandt’s true appearance to alter the tone of his portrait.

-Charla Hamilton, Class of 2015

Object Details

Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669
6 1/4" x 5"
Gift of Emily Poole, 1965