Self-Portrait as Zeuxis


Oil on canvas
Inv. No. 1015

142 × 169 cm

zur  Biographie

The last of Rembrandt’s pupils to attain renown, de Gelder chose a little-known anecdote from the life of the Greek painter Zeuxis for his role self-portrait. In his Schilder-Boeck of 1604, the art historian Karel von Mander recounts how Zeuxis dies of uncontrolled laughter in the process of painting an old woman from life. Here the hag holds an orange and poses in the role of a goddess – the circumstance which has presumably sparked the painter’s amusement. It was from Rembrandt that de Gelder had learned to pay attention to all aspects of life, including ugliness. His self-portrait thus also formulates an acknowledgement of his master’s understanding of art.

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