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Highlights: Weil Gifts

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Image of Self-Portrait with Raised Sabre

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606–1669

Self-Portrait with Raised Sabre


Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Northern Europe, Dutch
4 7/8 in. x 4 in. (12.38 cm x 10.16 cm)
Medium and Support: Etching and engraving on laid paper
Accession Number: 1999.0007.0065

Credit Line: Gift of Jean K. Weil in memory of Adolph "Bucks" Weil, Jr.

Rembrandt was one of his own favorite subjects. During the course of his career, he returned to the study of his own features more than seventy-five times in paintings, prints, and drawings. Portrait prints in general were extremely popular throughout the seventeenth century, when they provided the only information most people had about the appearances of rulers, statesmen, and celebrities. Rembrandt’s self-portraits, however, serve many purposes other than the description of his facial features. During the 1630s, his period of greatest artistic success, he presented himself in a wide variety of guises, ranging from beggar to virtuoso artist to melancholic genius. Some of these etchings appear to be studies of facial expressions, while some seem calculated to align Rembrandt with the great artists and poets of the past. In this print, the prominently placed sabre and fierce expression identify him as a warrior.
See "Rembrandt: Beyond the Brush; Master Prints from the Weil Collection," exh. cat. (Montgomery: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1999), 33.

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