ART_BY_REMBRANDT + artifact   59

Study of a Man Talking to a Woman Seated on the Left, 1635-1636 - Artifact
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn communicated the emotional exchange between these two people with economy and force. He clearly demonstrated the man's stern admonishment as he turns to face the woman's darkened gaze. Concentrating on both faces and the man's hands--the carriers of the drama--Rembrandt used only a few calligraphic strokes to describe the pair's clothing and give them a sense of three-dimensionality. He also engaged the paper, making the blank areas as active in describing the scene as the lines themselves. Even in a rapid sketch, Rembrandt created a sense of narrative, drama, and character.

Rembrandt may have depicted an early event in the Old Testament story of the prophet Samuel. When Samuel's future mother Hannah moved her lips while silently praying to God to give her children, the high priest Eli reproached her, thinking she was drunk.
ARTIFACT 
august 2010 by ART_BY_REMBRANDT
Artist in His Studio: about 1630 - Artifact
Using only pen and ink, which shows every mistake, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn created the space and volume of an artist's studio with a spare use of line. He drew the easel and the painting first, as the point of reference for the artist and the other objects. He later added the perspective lines that converge beyond the right edge of the paper; they served to confirm his intuition about the correct construction of objects in space. The heavier reinforcing lines at the bottoms of the chair and easel indicate adjustments to their placement.

Some scholars have labeled this drawing as a self-portrait in which Rembrandt himself views a panel from a distance, developing a mental image of the whole picture before he begins to work. Alternatively, other scholars argue that it depicts Rembrandt's friend and fellow Leiden artist Jan Lievens, who began his pictures by making a rough sketch in paint directly on the canvas.
ARTIFACT 
august 2010 by ART_BY_REMBRANDT
Young Scholar and his Tutor, about 1629 - Artifact
An elderly man in a subdued green velvet cloak trimmed in fur instructs a boy wearing a lavish Eastern costume. The artist presents a study in contrasts: the student's youthfulness, his smooth complexion, lavish garments, and quest for knowledge are balanced against the learned man's aged, weathered face as he imparts wisdom. A warm light that accentuates the tonal contrasts and rich textures of the velvet and satin fabrics bathes the two figures. Light catches and shimmers off the precious stones of the boy's gold jewelry. Fine, precise brushstrokes enhance the overall impression of softness.

The subjects are presented in the guise of historical personages, possibly portraying the youthful Old Testament prophet Samuel with his instructor Eli. The use of lavish costumes and light and dark contrasts reveal the influence of Rembrandt.
ARTIFACT 
august 2010 by ART_BY_REMBRANDT
Two Studies of the Head of an Old Man, 1626 - Artifact
In his bold, vigorous, and economical style, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn examined this man's pensive face from two directions. He presented the eyes as dark caverns, with shadows alone defining the ear, cleverly allowing the blank paper to do the rest. Broad pen strokes develop areas such as the neck, shoulder, and back of the head. 
Rembrandt often preferred to draw and paint older figures, subjects whose greater life experiences showed in their faces. As a French scholar wrote in 1909, "He is there when we are old, when we look fixedly at the side of the night that comes."
ARTIFACT 
august 2010 by ART_BY_REMBRANDT
Beggar Seated on a Bank (Self Portrait), c. 1630 - Artifact
Rembrandt was one of the greatest painters and printmakers during the Dutch Golden Age and indeed in all of European art history. Without reading the title of this work, the viewer might consider this to be another one of the artist's many self-portraits, which it is in fact. It is curious that Rembrandt would present himself as a beggar, especially given his wealth at the time. (Alas, he later had significant financial difficulties.) His many beggar representations have been discussed as examples of the artist's great empathy for his fellow man and the less fortunate. As multiples, prints are more affordable and easily disseminated, and were largely responsible for creating Rembrandt's international reputation during his lifetime. Etching was a relatively new medium at the time and Rembrandt, the undisputed master, helped establish this printmaking form as one of remarkable expression and appeal.
ARTIFACT 
august 2010 by ART_BY_REMBRANDT

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