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  • Self-Portrait with Etching by Rembrandt (A Portrait of a Collector ?)

    Artist:
    Gelder, Arent de. 1645-1727
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    79,5x64,5 cm

Gelder, Arent de. 1645-1727

Self-Portrait with Etching by Rembrandt (A Portrait of a Collector ?)

Holland, After 1685

Title:

Self-Portrait with Etching by Rembrandt (A Portrait of a Collector ?)

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

79,5x64,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1895; transferred from the Lazienki Palace in Warsaw

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-790

Comment:

On 25 August 1773, a painting by Aert de Gelder was sold at van der Marck’s auction in Amsterdam under the title ‘Self Portrait of an Artist Holding a Portrait of his Teacher Rembrandt’ (in fact, the man depicted in the painting holds Rembrandt’s etching ‘Christ Healing the Sick’ ,also known as ‘The Hundred Guilder Print’). Afterwards it was kept in the Stanislaw August collection, but remained at Lazienki Palace, which was purchased from the Polish king’s heirs by Emperor Alexander I . This canvas is traditionally considered to be the self portrait of Aert de Gelder. However, in recent times a number of researchers have questioned the accuracy of this interpretation. In particular, it has been noted that the man depicted in the painting has no likeness to de Gelder, whose features are well known from the self portrait of 1685 (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne). In some researchers’ opinion, [Rembrandt 1997–1998], it is likely that the man shown in the portrait was Jacob Mulart (1649–1727), a collector of prints, with whom de Gelder was on friendly terms. Other suggestions were given as well. However, the experts were unable to reach common ground. Werner Sumowski [1984] adheres to the traditional interpretation of this subject. It has long been noted that the Hermitage composition was based on the ‘Self Portrait’ from 1640 by Rembrandt (the National Gallery, London). The famous work by the great Dutchman exerted a profound influence on his pupils and followers. However, unlike the other works inspired by the same prototype (for example, those by Ferdinand Bol and Samuel van Hoogstraten, de Gelder’s teacher), the man depicted in the Hermitage painting holds in his hands the celebrated Rembrandt’s etching, which was supposed to play a seminal role.

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