Ann Marie's Notes: I was little surprised when I read that this preacher's hands may have been painted by an assistant because it was the second thing I noticed about this piece (the first being his hat). The hands seemed a little out of 'jive' to me...almost unflowing. The detail around his eyes is mindblowing.
Official Viewing Notes:
Wtenbogaert (1557 - 1644) was a famous preacher, the founder and leader of the Remonstrant Brotherhood. At the request of one of his followers, he had his portrait painted by Rembrandt. He was then 76 years of age. At this time Rembrandt was beginning to make a name for himself in Amsterdam as a portrait painter. This large work is one of the best portraits dating from that period. The large black cloak lends an imposing gravity to the figure of the old man, automatically leading the eye of the viewer to the white collar and the face. The hands appear to have been done by an assistant, but the face is Rembrandt at his best: with the raised eyebrows the artist has given the old man an individual characterization.