Renaissance Art Response Term Paper

Pages: 2 (677 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

From the canvas, he seems to be telling the story of his entire life in a series of colored brushstrokes.

During the Renaissance, painters worked diligently to create new ways to depict the human form on canvas and wood. Before this time, artists showed human figures in very flat, two-dimensional ways. Medieval art all show people who do not look like real fully rendered human beings. During the Renaissance, this changed and artists wanted their human subjects to look like they do in the real world. The intention was to create the most realistic depiction of humanity possible in this two-dimensional medium. If one looks carefully at portraiture from this time period, it is evident that of major importance to the artists is the presentation of the subject's face. This perspective is evident in this Rembrandt painting. Even though the face looks blurred from the way the subject was painted, it still gives the impression of being a real person rather than a representation. Rembrandt himself said that in his work he intended to portray the greatest and most natural moment (Hughes 6). This is clear if you look at some of the other self-portraits that Rembrandt made. None of them are stoic, dignified poses but rather there are self-portraits of the artist wearing fancy costumes or making funny faces which he would have made by looking in a mirror.

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The self-portrait of Rembrandt allows the modern viewer to see one component of traditional Renaissance art. During this period, artists became very interested in the human body and in particular the human face and how it varied from individual to individual. In this picture, Rembrandt is not handsome nor is he smiling. It does not look like a particularly important moment for him to be capturing, but that is the point, that every moment has merit and should be remembered.

Works Cited

Hughes, Robert. "The God of Realism." The New York Review of Books. 53(6), 2006. Print.

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APA Style

Renaissance Art Response.  (2013, April 18).  Retrieved February 25, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Renaissance Art Response."  18 April 2013.  Web.  25 February 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Renaissance Art Response."  April 18, 2013.  Accessed February 25, 2021.