His Own Portrait
By Rembrandt

His Own Portrait
By Rembrandt (1606-1669)
In the National Gallery, London

Rembrandt is the great genius of the Dutch school of painting, and is numbered among the six great masters of the world. In his own style he is unsurpassed, and when, as in the case of this portrait, he challenges comparisons with other masters, his work acquires an added interest for the art lover. Velazquez was a master of portrait painting, which was his speciality. Rembrandt combined this work with subject painting, in both of which he achieved perfection. It is instructive to compare his portraits with those of Velazquez in order to ascertain the manner in which he rises above even that consummate genius. Velazquez was a supreme colourist, and his portraits show marvellous power and execution, but he lacks the art which conceals art, as it is revealed in such perfection by a study of Rembrandt's canvases.

Millais said that "Rembrandt in his first period was very careful and minute in detail, and there is evidence of stippling in his flesh painting; but when he grew older, and in the fullness of his power, all appearance of such manipulation and minuteness vanished in the breadth and facility of his brush, though the advantage of his early manner remained. I have closely examined his pictures at the National Gallery, and have seen beneath that grand veil of breadth, the early work that his art conceals from untrained eyes - the whole science of painting."

His own portrait shows his grip of character and his power of suggesting the personality of his subject. It was painted in 1640.

Rembrandt achieved success at a very early age, but died in obscurity, unhonoured and unsung. It has been the privilege of modern times to rescue his reputation from oblivion and place him upon the honoured pedestal where his genius now rests securely.

From the book "Famous Paintings" printed in 1913.

Large files of this public domain print are available at Stock Photos at Songs of Praise
(Firefox users must click again on the large photo to see the very large image.)

Online "Name the Painting"

Rembrandt Paintings
Olga's Gallery

Rembrandt Biography
at Olga's Gallery

Rembrandt by Estelle M. Hurll
ebook, read online

at Wikipedia

Rembrandt Biography and Prints
(Spanish version)

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Famous Paintings in this Series

M. Bompard

A Prayer to the Madonna


The Madonna and Child

Sir Edward Coley

King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid

Sir Edward Coley

The Mill

Jean Charles Cazin


John Constable

Boat-Building Near
Flatford Mill

John Crome

On the Skirts of the Forest

Pascal Adolphe Jean

The Blessed Bread

Theophile Emanuel Duverger


C.W. Furse

Diana of the Uplands

W.H. Gore


Peter Graham

A Rainy Day

Jean Baptiste Greuze

The Listening Girl

Sir James Guthrie

A Highland Funeral

Frans Hals

A Man With a Glove
In His Hand

Hans Holbein the Younger

The Ambassadors

Henry Holiday

Dante and Beatrice

Sir Edwin Landseer


Sir Edwin Landseer

A Naughty Child

H.H. La Thangue

Mowing Bracken

Sir Thomas Lawrence

Caroline of Brunswick,
Queen of George IV.

G.D. Leslie

Sun and Moon Flowers

J. Seymour Lucas


Jean Louis Ernest

The Print Collector

Jean Francois Millet

The Angelus

Jean Francois Millet

Going to Work

Sir William Quiller

The Farmer's Daughter

Ralph Peacock



His Own Portrait

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The Infant Samuel

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The Strawberry Girl

George Romney

The Parson's Daughter

W. Dendy Sadler

A Good Story

W. Dendy Sadler


William Small

The Last Match

J.M. Swan

On the Alert,
Lioness and Cubs

J.M.W. Turner

Peace: Burial at Sea of the
Body of Sir David Wilkie

J.M.W. Turner

Rain Steam and Speed
The Great Western Railway


Portrait of a Spanish Lady
"La Femme a L'Eventail"

Frederick Walker

The Vagrants

George Frederick Watts


James McNeill Whistler

My Mother

Anders Zorn

A Fisherman

Index Page
Famous Paintings