Tag Archives: Rembrandt Peale

#FineArtFriday: Rembrandt Peale, self-portrait

About the artist via Wikipedia:

Rembrandt Peale (February 22, 1778 – October 3, 1860) was an American artist and museum keeper. A prolific portrait painter, he was especially acclaimed for his likenesses of presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Peale’s style was influenced by French Neoclassicism after a stay in Paris in his early thirties.

Rembrandt Peale was born the third of six surviving children (11 had died) to his mother, Rachel Brewer, and father, Charles Willson Peale in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on February 22, 1778. The father, Charles, also a notable artist, named him after the noted 17th-century Dutch painter and engraver Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. His father also taught all of his children, including Raphaelle PealeRubens Peale and Titian Peale, to paint scenery and portraiture, and tutored Rembrandt in the arts and sciences. Rembrandt began drawing at the age of 8. A year after his mother’s death and the remarriage of his father, Peale left the school of the arts, and completed his first self-portrait at the age of 13. The canvas displays the young artist’s early mastery. The clothes, however, give the notion that Peale exaggerated what a 13-year-old would look like, and Peale’s hair curls like the hair of a Renaissance angel. Later in his life, Peale “often showed this painting to young beginners, to encourage them to go from ‘bad’ to better…”[1]

In July 1787, Charles Willson Peale introduced his son Rembrandt to George Washington, and the young aspirant artist watched his father paint the future president. In 1795, at the age of 17, Rembrandt painted an aging Washington (with whom he shared a birthday), making him appear far more aged than in reality. The portrait was well received, and Rembrandt had made his debut.


Credits and Attributions

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Rembrandt Peale self-portrait.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Rembrandt_Peale_self-portrait.jpg&oldid=336752881 (accessed February 22, 2019).

Wikipedia contributors, “Rembrandt Peale,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rembrandt_Peale&oldid=879098650 (accessed February 22, 2019).

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