Art Criticism Paper: Rembrandt Van Rijn,
October 11, 2005
As a twenty-three year old man sits down to paint his own likeness, he thinks about how
to portray his face.
As he paints, he uses his exceptional artistic talent to bring forth a face that
reveals more than just his skin, eyes, and nose.
He hopes that this painting will be appreciated
by his peers and patrons; yet, he does not know that in the future, people will analyze this portrait
in an attempt to figure out what this face exposes about the painter, himself, and his life.
twenty-three year old man was Rembrandt Van Rijn, a Dutch painter from the seventeenth
During his lifetime of sixty-three years, Rembrandt, painted upwards of seventy-five
self-portraits, more than any other painter of his time.
Scholars, historians, and fans of
Rembrandt’s work have examined all of these self-images and have determined that Rembrandt
used these paintings as a form of self-analysis, though the book, Rembrandt
this may not be true.
The image of Rembrandt entitled,
Gorget and Beret
, allows for a number of aspects of Rembrandt’s work to be examined,
including his painting style as a young man, the clothing that he wears in this portrait, and his
motives for painting so many self-portraits.
was painted when Rembrandt was very young, and as a young man,
Rembrandt focused on two elements of design that became quite characteristic of his style during
this part of his career.
The first of these elements is texture.
It is well known that Rembrandt
was an accomplished etcher as well as a painter, and it is the element of etching that shows up in
this self-portrait, as well as in many others.
In this particular painting, Rembrandt etched into the
SAMPLE ART CRITICISM PAPER FROM A&D 255 FALL 2005