• Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn



    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn



    Using vigorous lines Rembrandt has drawn a corpulent man leaning across a table-top with his arms crossed. The man's floppy hat tilts forward slightly, casting a shadow onto his podgy face. Rembrandt used brown gallnut ink - a type containing iron - and this has run in most places in the portrait. He used his finger to smear the ink to indicate shadow. The subject is Willem Ruyter, an actor who features in several of Rembrandt's drawings. On this occasion Rembrandt portrays him as a peasant, wearing a smock and a shapeless hat. Ruyter may have performed frequently in the 'boertigheden', popular burlesques with a country yokel in the principal role, a favourite at Amsterdam's theatres.

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