Friday, June 26, 2015

Picture Day Friday: Rembrandt’s Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul

The Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands has digitized a staggering 210,000 of its works of fine art, including the masters, and they're all available online for free. They've organized it all by artist, subject, style, and even by events in Dutch history. More here about the incredible public service work the Amsterdam museum is up to.

This is a self-portrait as the Apostle Paul by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, painted in 1661.

The Rijksmuseum's Notes:
"His brow furrowed and eyebrows arched, Rembrandt peers out at us meaningfully. He has portrayed himself as the Apostle Paul, recognizable by the saint’s attributes, a sword and a manuscript. Paul preached Christianity and wrote about salvation through Christ. Is this what Rembrandt is trying to remind us of in this painting? Rembrandt rendered the light on the turban, forehead and book with heavily modelled brushstrokes (impasto)."

[Image courtesy of the Rijksmuseum. Click above to see a larger version.]