An intriguing group of self-portraits by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) is set to appear at Christie’s London on December 14.
The drawings date from the 1630s, when Rembrandt was in his early 20s, through to 1648 - offering a unique look into the way his technique developed over the years.
One of the first, Self Portrait with Curly Hair and White Collar (circa 1630), was executed while Rembrandt was living in Leiden.
Rembrandt drew this self-portrait at the start of his meteoric rise
This is around the time he started his first commissions for the Dutch royal court.
It’s one of a number featured in the sale that appear to be from the same series. In each he is pulling different faces, to practise the different facial expressions used in his paintings.
It’s expected to make £8,000-12,000 ($10,683-16,024).
The last in the collection, Self Portrait etching at Window (circa 1648), is a much more sombre affair.
Rembrandt drew an Italian style landscape in the window of this piece, despite never leaving the Netherlands
Rembrandt’s fortunes had been in decline following the death of his wife in 1642 and the hardship is evident in his face.
It’s valued at £100,000-150,000 ($133,540-200,310), which gives an indication of the degree to which Rembrandt’s skill had improved.
Christie’s comments: “Few other artists depicted themselves as regularly and with such variety and psychological insight as Rembrandt.
“He painted himself before the mirror on at least forty occasions, and etched no fewer than thirty-two self-portraits in a printmaking career that stretched over three decades.”
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