Rembrandt Self-Portrait

Rembrandt and his Self-portrait wearing a beret and two chains, from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, will open the Visiting Artwork programme at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. This cycle of regular exhibitions aims at welcoming works of art from museums around the world, placing them in dialogue with works from the Gulbenkian Collection and thereby creating spaces for sharing and refreshing knowledge.

At the same time, the Museum is launching the first publication dedicated to this initiative, which will be continued in the subsequent presentations, allowing the research resulting from these unique encounters to be disseminated.

With two editions, in Portuguese and English, this publication presents an original study by Luísa Sampaio, curator of painting at the Gulbenkian Museum, which has been produced especially for the moment when this rarely loaned work from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum meets the two Rembrandt paintings acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, Old Man and Pallas Athena.

This essay, divided into different parts, begins with a biography on Rembrandt which simultaneously introduces us to his work. This is followed by a text on Rembrandt’s self-portrait from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which takes the reader through some of the topics underlying the extensive research conducted on this work. Given that Rembrandt’s artistic production includes around forty self-portraits in total, Luísa Sampaio goes on to examine the function of this category in the artist’s work, analysing its variants and subcategories and how they constitute an iconography without parallel in Western painting.

The closing part of this publication is dedicated to the two works by Rembrandt in the Gulbenkian Collection, which came from Catherine II of Russia’s collection and were acquired by the collector from the Hermitage Museum. Also explored here are the questions that have arisen around these two paintings after long years of research and which make them unique within the context of Rembrandt’s artistic production.

Technical information

Luísa Sampaio
Editorial coordination:
Calouste Gulbenkian Museu
230 mm x160 mm
Original title:
Rembrandt Autorretrato
Updated on 05 may 2022

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