Rembrandt’s Mirror: the Earlier Self-Portraits, Part 1 of 2

Rembrandt: Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634 (Gemäldegalerie Berlin)
Rembrandt: Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634 (© Gemäldegalerie Berlin)

In 1999 the famous Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague hosted one of its most spectacular exhibitions: Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits. Few artists in history have painted themselves so often. Why? If what we see in these paintings is a mirror image, was he left or right-handed, and how did he work with mirrors to be able to make his own portrait? Did he work only with mirrors? And what color were his eyes really?

Produced and presented by David Swatling

First broadcast on October 21, 1999 to coincide with the Mauritshuis exhibition.