|Museum Het Rembrandthuis|
1011 NK Amsterdam
T +31 20 520 0400
E museum@ museumrembrandthuis.nl
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Rembrandt made an extraordinary series of 32 self-portrait etchings. Most of them were produced in the period 1628-1630, when Rembrandt was still living in Leiden. These prints are very small. Most of them show only the head, although in some cases part of the upper body can be seen. In these early self-portraits Rembrandt was practising portraying facial expressions. He pulled all sorts of faces in front of a mirror and recorded what he saw on an etching plate. By doing this, he taught himself to show moods and emotions. He also used these etchings to study the way the light fell on his face. He used what he learned for the figures in larger compositions. Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam in 1631. By this time he was already a famous artist. His success is reflected in his self-portraits. In 1639 he made a portrait of himself as a nobleman, looking out self-confidently at the viewer. The pose is borrowed from Titian’s famous portrait of Ariosto. For other self-portraits he decked himself out in expensive costumes with exotic accessories, of which he owned a great many. After 1640 Rembrandt’s portraits become more sober. His last etched self-portrait dates from 1648, when he was 42.