Early Selfie

Back in 1640 Rembrandt decided to take a selfie, so he whipped out his pigments – lead white, bone black, charcoal black, a few ochres and vermillion – and took the selfie you see here.

He called it Self Portrait at the Age of 34. He had tried out a similar pose in an etching of 1639, Self Portrait, Leaning on a Stone Wall, looking rather more rakish.

Rembrandt-Self_portrait_leaning_on_sill

These are two of over forty self-portraits (or, um, selfies) by Rembrandt van Rijn and, like most selfies, they depict him in a favourable light, at the height of his career, richly dressed and self-secure.

If it had been now his second one would have been Self Portrait, Leaning on my Porsche.

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