Monday, September 29, 2014

Rembrandt in the Flesh

In high school and college classic art and history held about the same level of appeal to me. Boring timelines and pretty little pictures, but no space ships.
Things changed when a saw a life-size portrait of George Washington at a traveling Smithsonian Museum exhibit. Seeing full life-size Rembrandt paintings at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam had the same life-changing effect on me.
Rembrandt only used a pallet of 16 colors, but he created those pigments himself by grinding up things like carbon black in a mortar and pestle and mixing in just the right amount of oil. Any paint not used that day was stored in pig's bladders to be used tomorrow. and despite what seems to us crude techniques, he created masterpieces with the power to capture our emotions hundreds if years later.

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