Portrait of an Old Warrior by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rhine

Portrait of an Old Warrior by Rembrandt Harmens Van Rhine

Painting by the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn “Portrait of an Old Warrior”. Portrait size 108 x 86 cm, wood, oil. In the numerous portraits of Amsterdam in the 1630s, Rembrandt is trying to find out in the changeable, controversial people portrayed the indivisible truth: what does these people believe and what does kill, trust, doubt, hope for mercy and show it?

In connection with the work of this decade, we should mention the only “theoretical” statement by Rembrandt, preserved in a letter to Konstantin Huygens on January 12, 1639. In it, Rembrandt defines the artistic quintessence

of the paintings “Standing in a coffin” and “Resurrection” from the cycle of Passion, written for the shtatgalter, as “the largest and most natural movement.”

A very obscure and unfinished formulation, on the basis of which subsequently was judged either on the externally-formal, or on the sincere purposefulness of Rembrandt. Most likely, this refers to an allusion to the addressee of the then famous philologist Francis Junius, who, in discourse on the pictorial image of Passion, wrote about the complex presentation of the “three-way effective movement or excitation of the subject of the image, the artist and the viewer”, based on the borrowed, probably Durer has the premise: “Thus, these movements of the soul are in any way extracted from the truth of nature.”

Although of course Rembrandt, referring to employment and lack of time, dissociates himself from other provisions of Junius, therefore in this turn, almost literally coinciding with an earlier assessment by Konstantin Huygens of the image of Judas, a hint of irony appears.

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