Essay Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn's Self-Portraits

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The old man sits. His hands are folded nicely in his lap and his facial features stay composed. He wears an overcoat that seems to be a soft velvet, shaded in a reddish-violet hue. Curls peep through the cap on his head, which is pushed slightly back and to the side. His eyes gaze unto those of the observer, telling of his life; the lack of fulfillment, the need for restoration. The color of his face and the cap’s white brim are lit up against a background that nearly engulfs the outline of his body, giving an impression of incompleteness.
Although the man’s garment can be seen, it is somewhat hidden amongst the dark colors surrounding. The lines and colors that are so considerably apparent in the creation of the stark whiskers,
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Rembrandt is named as one of the greatest painters in the history of
Western art. Just as he had an enormous impact on his contemporaries, he also influenced those styles of the much later artists. His ability to combine detailed characteristics with mood and spiritual qualities made his understanding of human nature known. He showed these brilliant techniques in painting as well as drawing and etching. As he went through life, his work developed and grew, adding more colors to his palette and increasing the boldness of the brushwork. This artist’s artwork has influenced many, bringing appreciation to him and his life.

Rembrandt was born on July 15, 1606, in Leiden, the Netherlands. His family had owned a mill on the Rhine, (the river that surrounded Leiden), for at least four generations. Although his father wanted him to follow a learned profession, at the age of fifteen, Rembrandt’s amazing talent for drawing emerged. Agreeing that giving up his academic studies might be a wise thing to do, his father began supporting him in the study of art. At fist, he was apprenticed to a local master, Jacob van Swanenburgh. As he became more mature in his abilities, he then moved to Amsterdam to study with the historical painter, Pieter Lastman. Rembrandt spent six months there, mastering everything he was taught, then returned to Leiden. Here he set up a studio in his father’s house and began painting independently.

By the age of

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