Self-Portrait as Zeuxis Portraying an Ugly Old Woman, Arent de Gelder
Arent de Gelder
Self-Portrait as Zeuxis Portraying an Ugly Old Woman
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Arent de Gelder

Self-Portrait as Zeuxis Portraying an Ugly Old Woman, 1685


Dimensions
141.5 x 167.3 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
1015
Acquisition
Acquired in 1865
Status
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 6

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About the Work

While portraying a richly dressed elderly woman, Arent de Gelder grins at the viewer. He portrays himself in the role of the ancient painter Zeuxis, who, as legend has it, choked on a fit of laughter, overcome by the ugliness and inappropriate fashion of his client’s clothes! With his palette reduced to brown and orange tones and a coarse application of paint, de Gelder follows his teacher Rembrandt’s late work, which had already become unfashionable by 1685. Economically independent, he could afford such a commentary against the contemporary ideal of beauty.

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Last update

14.05.2024