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Self Potrait

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Assignment 2: Self Portrait: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Diane Mezack
Instructor Monique Baucham
World Cultures I
August 26, 2012

August 30, 1669- Finally after painting steadily for weeks I have finished my self portrait. I know I will not be long for this world and wanted to leave behind a self portrait of myself as a distinguished gentleman. I dressed in a maroon dress robe and a cap. I then had my hands folded neatly in my lap. I did do a bit of editing to this painting that I have not done on previous self portraits. I added weight to my face, though I did leave my wrinkles and creases. These showed the life I lived and the experiences I gained. This gave character to my face. I did live my life to the fullest; the painting shows that in the details of my face. I did not add too much detail to my dress robe or hands because that is not what I wanted to enhance in this self portrait.
My life was full of wonder and achievements. I married my Saskia in 1634. It was her hair that first attracted me. I love the color red, and her hair was like a beautiful sunset. We moved to into our own house in the fashionable Nieuwe Doelenstraat, renting at first being a new couple and me just starting with self portraits and moved on to portraits of others. We later, in 1639, were able to buy a house in the Jodenbreestraat, in the center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My Saskia stood by me even through my spending sprees. We quarreled very little. We had four children though only our son and fourth child lived until adulthood. Titus was a wonderful son. However a year after his birth my Saskia died from tuberculosis. I loved her and miss her greatly.
Love came to me again, and it was not expected. My maid, Hendrikje, brought joy back into my life once again; her smiles, thoughtful gestures, and the way she was always there to listen when I needed to talk. She gave me a daughter, Cornelia. I however could not marry her to protect my son’s trust that was set up with Saskia’s will; so I made her my mistress. Hendrikje stood by me even when we were having financial difficulties. I had to sell my house and all my collections at a loss to pay my loans. I moved to a more modest accommodation on the Rozengracht with my common law wife, Hendrikje and my son, Titus. Hendrikje and Titus transfer the company and trade in painting, graphic art, engravings and woodcuts; to their names, relieving me of all financial control. Titus becomes my universal heir. They did have me as an employee so that I could still sell my paintings and do what I love to do more than anything. This happened because the Amsterdam painters’ guild brought out a new rule stating that if you had creditors and authorities on you for failure to pay that you could not trade as a painter.
Titus sat for me in a monk robe so that I could create a painting that was spiritual and moving. I did the detail of the robe in a rustic brown. His face was serene and thoughtful. I put as much of my emotion into painting that painting to bring my passion for my art to light.
The Frederick Rihel on horseback painting I did was the more challenging I have done in a long time. I had to get very detailed on the horse and on Frederick. The study of the horse took the longest. Getting the muscles, movement, and flow of the mane going properly was challenging. I did get this painting completed and Frederick was happy to receive it, since I believe the horse was a favorite of his.
At this time I also did a self portrait. To show that through diversity I was still me. I did have a few more worry lines in my face because of my circumstances. My smile wasn’t very visible, because I did not think that I had much to smile about at that time. When I do self portraits it is a self analysis. It brings to light what I hide from myself and makes me face it.
Titus and Hendrikje showed me that through all adversity you can still do what you love to do in this world. It saddens me to have outlived them both. I do have a granddaughter to dote on; I hope she will not miss her grandfather too much when I am gone.

References
Rembrandt (2012, August 22) Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandt_Harmenszoon_van_Rijn
Introduction into Self Portraits, Retrieved from http://userpages.umbc.edu/~ivy/selfportrait/intro.html
Osmond, Susan Fegley (January 2000) Rembrandt van Rijn: Selected Self-Portraits Retrieved from http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/rembrandt_self_portraits.htm#about…...

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