Scientist in the office (Rabbi), Rembrandt, 1634

Description of the picture:

The scientist in the office is Rembrandt. 1634. Oil on canvas. 145×134.9
Representing the scientist in his office, Rembrandt (1606-1669) uses the type of image of a person established in the 17th century in Flanders in his professional occupation. But he, unlike the Flemish masters, manages to avoid the sensation of posing a model, so that the picture, losing the features of formality, becomes more natural.

Aiming at maximum vitality, Rembrandt accurately conveys the position of the huge folio on the music stand and a slight discontent in the scientist’s look: this is how a person looks, worried about what he loves. A few years earlier, in 1629, in Leiden, the artist had already turned to a similar plot. He commissioned portrait of a scientist (National Gallery, London).Enlarged fragment of the picture Scientist in the office Compared with the London canvas, this work increases and complicates the arsenal of expressive means that Rembrandt uses. The effects of light, while remaining powerful and impressive, acquire great sophistication, and the color of the picture – warmth and nobility. The painting style is also remarkable for its amazing craftsmanship: a smear is placed strictly in shape, revealing its features.

After processing the gained experience, the master enriched the image: on the canvas presented, he was not just a serious and educated intellectual, but a wise, long-lived old man. An unusual and very picturesque model was chosen for the picture. At this time, the artist was familiar with the wealthy merchant Eilenburh, and he was often posed by the Jews of the Amsterdam ghetto. This portrait was previously even called the “Rabbi.”

The artist manages to almost tangibly convey the softness of the yellowish skin of the hands of an already aged person, the smooth surface of the book sheet and the loose fabric of the tablecloth. The portrait conquers with the depth of psychological characteristics and sincere attention to the inner world of the model, distinguishing the mature and later work of the great Dutch painter.