THATMuse

Rembrandt is the equivalent of a modern-day selfie connoisseur! As a great 17th century self-portrait artist, Rembrandt’s many artistic ‘selfies’ explore his identity throughout his lifetime. Let’s look behind the camera (or painting for that matter) to find out just why Rembrandt earned the prestigious title of a Selfie King and, while we’re at it, see what his selfie’s can teach us!  

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You’ve probably heard the saying Love conquers all. This timeless saying goes all the way back to the Roman poet Virgil in his “Eclogues”. In Latin, he writes, 

“Amor vincit omnia, et nos cedamus amori”

Love conquers all things, so we too shall yield to love

-Virgil

Not even War can beat Love! Sandro Botticelli celebrates Love’s triumph through depictions of Venus, the goddess of love! There’s his famous work The Birth of Venus (which you can see at the Uffizi). But, today, we’ll take about his painting, Venus and Mars.  

This spectacular piece contains some humor, cool myths, classical references, and marriage themes! What’s not to love!? 

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Italian painter, Tiziano Vecellio, better known as Titian, knew how to tell a story in a single frame. In one painted scene, Titian weaves together a story of abandonment and the thrill of love at first sight alongside the immortalizing and captivating powers of classical gods and playfully rowdy mythical creatures. This is the pictured story of Bacchus and Ariadne.  

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Gods, goddesses, and creatures, oh my! Bronzino took advantage of such mystical figures to create an intellectually pleasing (and eye-catching!) allegorical painting. Let’s decode the many interlocking secrets hidden throughout An Allegory with Venus and Cupid (1545).  

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Hans Holbein the Younger, Self Portrait at the Uffizi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re ever curious about 16th century portraitists, look no further than our German friend, Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)! He’s one of the most accomplished painters out there with his versatility and technical ability. Like our good friend, Jan van Eyck, Holbein used oil painting to achieve realistic textures in his works. Many 16th century celebrities – from King Henry VIII, Erasmus, to Anne of Cleves – vied for Holbein to capture their looks.  

But wait! When discussing Holbein, we have to mention his double portrait (it’s practically full-length and life-sized), The Ambassadors (1533). At first glance, this eye-catcher commemorates two friends, showing off their wealth and status. But, if you look closer, you’ll notice references to the English Reformation and Holbein’s own message about life and mortality. Since it’s Halloween season (BOO! 👻), it seems fitting to take a closer look at such spooky themes! 

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Oil, light, marriage, wealth, religion, and a mystery man in a mirror. What can we make of this? Who is Jan van Eyck? Read on to find out!

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