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Culture Shock

By 2019 selfie standards, 70-some self-portraits may not sound like many. But in the art world, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) remains among the most prolific creators of self-portraits. In fact, he’s likely the artist who made self-portraiture a fully developed genre in its own right. Unlike smartphone selfie aficionados capturing their best side on a good hair day wearing a great outfit, Rembrandt rendered himself as he was: aging, thickening, and bereaved. Furrowed brows, droopy eyelids, crow’s feet—the more flaws, the more honest. He produced self-portraits his whole career, even as he buried 2 wives and 4 children and faced bankruptcy. Check out a couple of his self-portraits on these Denver Art Museum banners promoting the exhibition Rembrandt Painter as Printmaker.


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