Self-Portrait Drawing at a Window

Self-Portrait Drawing at a Window
Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Etching, drypoint, burin; State IV 
plate: 6-1/4 x 5-1/8 in. (15.9 x 13.0 cm); sheet: 6-5/8 x 5-1/4 in. (16.8 x 13.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Ten years passed before Rembrandt created another self-portrait. Here he casts himself as a working artist. Costume has given way to a practical shirt, painter’s coat and narrow-brimmed hat. His furrowed brow suggests the concentration demanded of his enterprise. A radiant beam of light from the left provides the sole illumination for the dark, minimally described studio. A rich chiaroscuro—achieved through a dense network of cross-hatching, drypoint and slashes of burin—lends a gravitas to the artist’s figure.

It is worth remembering, as one considers the inspiration for this self-portrait, that Rembrandt was an avid print collector. He was familiar with the iconography of the scholar in his studio, accompanied by the attributes of his profession. This well-known subject in painting and printmaking, dating to the late 15th century, provided a matrix for his composition. As noted in the earlier self-portraits, Rembrandt was conversant with contemporary art theory, which esteemed drawing, or disegno, as the conceptual foundation of the visual arts. The implement he holds in his hand, poised above a tablet or small copper plate, is meant for drawing. This association would have been recognized by the circle of scholars and poets who were fast becoming
Rembrandt’s patrons.

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Please fill our our Online Reproduction Request Form or download the Application for Reproduction Permission PDF Form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.

E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3300
Fax: (626) 796-4978

Additional Artwork by Artist