Rembrandt van Rijn
Self-Portrait (detail), 1659, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.72
Rembrandt painted, drew, and etched so many self-portraits that changes in his appearance invite us to gauge his moods by comparing one to the other; we read these images biographically because the artist forces us to do so by confronting us directly.
Rembrandt painted this self-portrait in 1659, when he had suffered financial failure after many years of success. His spacious house on the Sint-Anthoniesbreestraat and other possessions had been auctioned the previous year to satisfy his creditors.
In this late work, the deep-set eyes that bore into the viewer’s eyes express the wisdom gained from his life experiences. (sursă text)