Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn)

Self-portrait, aged 51 (about 1657)

About this artwork

In this extraordinary self-portrait, Rembrandt’s direct gaze arrests attention. The effects of time and experience are written on his face, in which he explored the subtle colouring and textures of ageing skin with startling objectivity. The artist left more than eighty paintings, etchings and drawings of himself which record his appearance throughout his career, and reflect something of his changing fortunes. They also confirm his remarkable creative energy even amidst personal crisis. By the time he painted this work, in either 1657 or 1659, he had endured great personal and financial difficulties.

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn)

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn)

Rembrandt is perhaps the most renowned, influential and inventive of all Dutch artists. In his oil paintings, he represented a wide range of subjects, including single portraits, group portraits, self-portraits and biblical and mythological scenes. He explored the dramatic potential of light and shadow not only through paintings, but also through his innovative printmaking (etching) and fluid, inventive draughtsmanship. Rembrandt’s began his career in his native Leiden. After moving to Amsterdam, he enjoyed great success, which continued throughout his long career. Towards the end of his life, he underwent personal and financial difficulties, but remained a respected artist until his death in 1669.

Related products