Self-Portrait with Two Circles by Rembrandt (1659-1660) | The Squirrel Review

A master of the sublime.

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Originally posted on The Squirrel Review.

Self-Portrait with Two Circles by Rembrandt (1659-1660)

If the aim of self-portraiture is defined as the production of a painting displaying  perfect likeness to one’s physical self, Rembrandt van Rijn was a master of this medium for much of his artistic life. However, when one defines the aim of a self-portrait more subtly, that of providing an honest window into the deep and personal character of an artist, Rembrandt only began to succeed towards the end of his life. This truth is exemplified in what many consider to be one of the artists greatest masterpieces, Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

In his earlier self-portraits, Rembrandt depicts himself as handsome, successful, and fashionable – indeed, far more like a gentleman than an artist. From his clothing to his posture, the artist reflected upon the glamorous…

via Self-Portrait with Two Circles by Rembrandt (1659-1660) | The Squirrel Review.

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3 thoughts on “Self-Portrait with Two Circles by Rembrandt (1659-1660) | The Squirrel Review

  1. ShimonZ

    Read the original article, and I’m not in complete agreement with that viewpoint on the early self portraits of Rembrandt. We do change over the years, and the way we want to see ourselves changes too. I can understand the admiration for this particular masterpiece, though, even if ignoring the supposed hint in the circles. They work within the composition perfectly… without ever thinking about the story that went with them. It often seems to me that those who study art in the academia have a very different sort of enjoyment than those who work themselves… even if the work isn’t on the highest levels.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Shimon. I agree completely that those in academia see art from a different point of view….clinical and lacking in real depth. I remember being with my daughter in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum when I saw for the first time, Rembrandt’s sell portrait – ‘young man with feather in hat’ and was overwhelmed. I recognised that I could smell the air around the subject….absolutely sublime. x


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