Thomas Micchelli writes about Rembrandt's Self-Portrait from Kenwood House, London, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through May 20, 2012.
Micchelli notes: "This painting is one of the artist's richest and most profound self-portraits, rendered in earth tones softly illuminated by raking, flaxen light. Rembrandt, who would live for only three or four more years, may be staring mortality in the face, but his expression bespeaks stillness and calm, even as his posture – chest forward and arms akimbo — betrays a subtle, ineradicable haughtiness."
Naves writes "As a study in contrasts, the Met exhibition has its uses. Degas' exercises in self-portraiture are heady and pitiless, their rigor is risky, pointed and sure. Psychological insight wasn’t alien to Degas' vision, but neither was it a driving force. Rembrandt, on the other hand, couldn’t make a mark without embodying a distinctive and inquisitive generosity of spirit."
Gregory Scheckler reviews the exhibition Rembrandt and Degas: Two Young Artists at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, on view through February 5, 2012.
Scheckler writes: "This new show reveals a young Degas at a time of transition between traditions (French Academic versus Dutch Realist), revealing much about how Degas navigated the two." He continues: "The show is worth a visit if for no other reason than to see four small self-portrait paintings that are astonishingly beautiful, precise, reserved in their use of color and radical in their use of light."
The exhibition centers around Rembrandt's refusal to paint Jesus according to convention. Kirsch writes: "around 1648... [Rembrandt] broke with the convention, well-established in Western Europe... of portraying Christ as fair haired with aquiline features - more or less a visual descendent of a Greek god. Rembrandt looked to his Jewish neighbors in Amsterdam for a more likely model."
The show includes paintings, drawings and prints as well as works by Rembrandt's pupils.
Judith Dobrzynski reports on the Dulwich Picture Gallery's unique exhibition schedule for 2011: "one masterpiece every month of the year. It's like an unfolding calendar, it's like a year long advent calendar of your dreams." The schedule includes works by: Sir Thomas Lawrence, Velazquez, Vermeer, El Greco, Veronese, Rembrandt, Ingres, van Gogh, Gainsborough, Constable, David Hockney, and Domenichino. A year of must sees...
By way of looking at a Rembrandt drawing, painter Philip Koch examines drawing as a way to slow down. Drawing "involves taking the time to see something more clearly. Doing drawings of your idea before you paint it can be a way to slow yourself down. We need time to notice the things others overlook."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.