The Artist Drawing from a Model, unfinished plate, c. 1639

The Artist Drawing is clearly more an allegory of art than documentation of a specific studio. The combination of minutely finished sections with manifestly unfinished parts may allude to the comparison between the two greatest painters of Greek antiquity, Apelles and Protogenes. The latter was known for the fine detail of his paintings, and the former for the speed and freedom of his work. The most highly valued paintings by Apelles were those left unfinished, for in them one could see his working process. Here, Rembrandt laid claim to being the inheritor of both traditions. Moreover, by leaving the model so thoroughly unfinished, he reminded us of his ability to draw from his imagination.

Details
Title
The Artist Drawing from a Model, unfinished plate
Artist Life
1606–1669
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.1,302
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 231 ii/ii; B.192; Mz.339 ii/ii; Holl. 192 ii/ii; B-B. 47-2 ii/ii
Curator Approved

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