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Rembrandt Master Oil Painting at sketch point

January 15, 2011

These photographs are of a lesser known Rembrandt painting in Oxford. It details an area I have often thought about,  which he mastered. A sculptural quality of his work is that he would layer the paint, thicker and thicker towards its epicentre (I’ll call it for now). In actuality, the epicentre of a Rembrandt self portrait, is his nose, or the face- sculpted out in thick oils, lessening towards the side of the painting. The effect is something subtle, and has a confusing mesmerizing quality you cannot necessarily put your finger on immediately.



Movement is involved, vibrancy in the stationary subject. It almost works as a photograph with its subject crystal clear and its exterior smudged or scattered. Or, in this sense working like a mostly blurred photograph where the photographer has followed the subject across the picture plain, and only the parts moving in sync with the lens is in focus. And yes, Rembrandt knew nothing of photography, at the time no one did. (The modern analogy placed on the historical object- now that’s another matter for another time).



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