Philosopher Meditating in His Room by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rhine

Philosopher Meditating in His Room by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rhine

At the time of this writing, Rembrandt settled in Amsterdam, but in terms of subject matter and small size, the picture resembles a Leiden period. The central figure was called differently: the philosopher, the scientist. Religious background seems less likely here. Thinkers immersed in reading seemed to fascinate Rembrandt; over the years, he returned to this topic several times.

A life devoted to the study of books, reflections and righteous works may have seemed to Rembrandt particularly attractive compared to his own intense, but vain, secular life, to which a fashionable artist is doomed.

The

meticulous experts noticed that the spiral staircase was borrowed from a perspective book written by an artist familiar to Rembrandt. The staircase is used to create a compositional effect: its lower bend focuses the gaze on a scientist steeped in thought, whose immobility contrasts sharply with the eagerness of a woman operating with forceps in the fireplace.

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