A previously unknown self-portrait by Rembrandt has been welcomed with open arms for a temporary exhibition.
Although Rembrandt painted and etched hundreds of self-portraits over his career, every one is held in the highest regard. Apparently, Rembrandt painted so many self-portraits that his pupils recycled at least one of them for their own uses. That is the story experts uncovered in 1995, when X-rays revealed that a lovely self-portrait by the master had lain undetected for nearly three centuries underneath a painting by his students.
After its discovery, “Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes” was quickly restored and has established its place among the many other records of the artist’s visage. In the painting, we find a 28-year-old Rembrandt, complete with a stylish mustache and fur coat, and boasting a beret. His cap shields most of his face from the light source in the upper left, leaving him in shadow.
Visitors to Detroit have only a few more months to view the self-portrait along with three other Rembrandt originals — “The Weeping Woman,” “The Visitation,” and “Titus” —at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum reports that, “Rembrandt started painting self-portraits in the late 1620s and tended to portray himself wearing berets, fanciful costumes and accessories. His self-portraits stand out from those of other artists because of his endless variety and creativity. Although he painted the same subject 40 times, no two self-portraits look quite alike.”
“Rembrandt: Guest of Honor” will be on view through December 13.
To learn more, visit the Detroit Institute of Arts.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

Previous articleLanding Legends
Next articleMidday Theft
Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here