Self-Portrait With Raised Sabre
4 3/4 x 3 7/8 in. (12.1 x 9.8 cm)
Rembrandt van Rijn,
Medium and Support:
Label for "Printmakers of the Baroque: 17th-Century Explorations of Space and Light", La Salle University Art Museum, December 16, 2013 – February 28th, 2014:
Over the course of his life, Rembrandt produced over 70 self-portraits in both paintings and etchings. While artists’ self-portraits were common in 17th-century Netherlands, the number and variety of Rembrandt’s set him apart from his fellow artists. As with many of his self-portraits before 1648, Rembrandt is dressed in a costume. Rembrandt was an avid collector of fanciful paraphernalia, which he kept in his studio for costuming models, including himself. His identities included a courtier, a beggar, a soldier and a saint. Here he has donned an ermine stole and a crown, and regally raises a saber as he stares authoritatively at the viewer. Recent scholars have understood these self-portraits not as expressions of a complex inner life, but as strategies to establish his identity and to distinguish himself as an artist.
Kelly Sheehan, '15