oh Great you've started the thread Roberta - bullied and harrassed as you are
I'd answered this in a pm to you and will copy it here to add to the thread - hoping jln and co will pop in soon.
I know exactly what you mean about catching the soul in their eyes. Rembrandt gets into the subjects 'personal space' and they are totally real as people - confident/brash/shy/unaware as in Susanna bathing/whatever.
His self portraits are fascinating. In the early ones you see a cocky, self confident young man in a feathered hat if I remember right - flamboyant, not good looking but the world is new and he's out to take it by storm, looks you straight in the eye.
Then you get the in between years, a father, doing ok, a vulnerability and unsureness, worry.
The later ones - a vulnerable man, getting older, frailer, more worried, less sure of anything - fragile.
The gloops of paint are wonderful - in the National Gallery there are some stunning paintings by him featuring lace collars and cuffs on the sitters. So, quite apart from that character and insight, you have this freely gloopily painted lace that just coalesces into 'accurate' depiction of lace as you step away - real hairs on the back of the neck standing up time it's so beautiful!
My favorite is the self-portrait at the Frick, but the Metropolitan Museum has wonderful Rembrandts. Most notable is Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer. You can see Aristotle contemplating! How is this possible? Genius makes it possible.
yep, he does depict emotions, moods thoughts .... I don't know how and I can't get near doing what he does!
On my second trip to Europe I visited the Rikjmuseum in Amsterdam and Rembrandt's home, which is now a museum. The was something to see. Almost too big. I had to look at each individual separately. Each a person with a mind and a soul.
I would like to see the Rijksmuseum but have never got to Amsterdam - lack of finances
His home had many etchings, something I wasn't aware of much. They were stunning in their simplicity, and yet each was fully realized. I wanted to touch things that he had touched. A link with him through the centuries. I did sneak a few touches. My hand touched something Rembrandt had touched.[/quote]
I know what you mean I felt like that at the Rodin museum in Paris (and touched as well!) That blew me away, I knew I loved his drawings - a wonderful fluid economy of line, so alive. I didn't expect to love the sculpture as much. (Didn't like the Thinker - heavy and lumpen compared to most of his work). The Rodin museum is in his old house and some pieces were things like a head - 'soft' skin and flowing hair, emerging from the rough unworked rock - I just loved that contrast and seeing where the work was coming from.
Turner is supposedly a relative of mine - something I have VERY carefully NOT researched!!! I love his work and I'll keep the illusion intact thanks!
Turners sketchbooks at the Tate Gallery link
This link shows his sketchbooks at the Tate, I love to see sketchbooks and these are so fresh and contemporary, I saw an exhibition of them a few years back and they are wonderful in real life.