Aau (Academy of Arts University) Art History I - M10.1-10.2, M11.1

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10.1 Rembrandt has often been referred to as "The Painter of Light" for his innovative and influential approach to depicting light. Describe Rembrandt's approach to depicting light in painting. How is it influenced by Caravaggio's tenebrism and how does it differ or improve upon that technique?

Rembrandt’s depiction and use of light represented the fluidity the human eye (or view) “sees”. The human eye views images through a sifted view. In other words it picks out certain (specific elements) to focus on; bringing those images to light and casting the others into a shadow. Thus, Rembrandt utilizes diffused light rather than sharp contrasts to convey an emotion or mood (perhaps observed by the viewer). In the case of this painting, “Self-Portrait, 1659-1660” [of the older man] his exchange with light conveys and older man with a facial expression of a “lived life”. The facial expression is captured by dark shadows overtop the brow, through the crease of the eye, as well on the sagging cheeks; light and shadow converge around his pensive eyes further emphasizing his maturity. In this manner, Rembrandt draws upon tenebrism, casting shadows to dramatize an emotion in the painting, but differs from Caravaggio by doing so in a subtle manner rather than striking contrast. Whereas Caravaggio may have used finer lines to distinguish the portrait from the background, Rembrandt blurs the dark-light contrast so that the portrait emerges into focus just as it would in one’s line of vision.

10.2The introduction of Module 10 gives you a brief explanation of the positive effects of a free art market. What might be the down side to such a system? Why would some artists have preferred to work for as established patron such as the Church or Monarchy?

Artistically, in my opinion, there is no down-side to a free market. Again, some additional “positives” include the ability for anyone to follow their passion, art, in whichever shape and form they viewed it. The...
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