The selfie may be a contemporary look, but a Dutch museum aims to show that its roots go back centuries.
In an upcoming exhibition, the Mauritshuis art museum in The Hague, Netherlands, is showing a collection of self-portraits by master artists including Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Carel Fabritius and Gerrit Dou from Dutch painting’s 17th century Golden Age.
The self-portrait was particularly popular among Dutch painters of the period. Rembrandt alone painted and drew dozens over his lifetime, tracing the aging of a brash and self-confident young genius into a bowed and disappointed bankrupt.
The exhibition, Dutch Self-Portraits – Selfies From The Golden Age, will gather 27 mostly loaned paintings showing the ways artists chose to represent themselves — as wealthy bourgeois, family men, hunters or professional painters.
While anybody with a smartphone can make a selfie nowadays, back then the self-portrait was the preserve of the highly skilled, says the museum in a statement. “But one thing remained unchanged: the fact that the creators of a self-portrait must choose how they want to present themselves,” it adds.
The same goes for all self-portraits, from Boschaert’s possessive glance as he clutches his pallette and brushes in his 1630’s Self-Portrait to today’s duckface in the pub. – Reuters/Thomas Escritt
Dutch Self-Portraits – Selfies From The Golden Age opens on Oct 8 in the Mauritshuis, home to one of the world’s most important collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings, including Johannes Vermeer’s famed Girl With A Pearl Earring. It runs until Jan 3.
Check out some of the paintings that will be featured in Dutch Self-Portraits – Selfies From The Golden Age. These images are part of the Mauritshaus collection in The Hague, Netherlands. Apologies to the masters for the fake quotes – we couldn’t help ourselves.