Listening to Art

09.08: Rembrandt, Self-Portrait with Easel

Download (MP3).

Listening to Art, by William Denton.

Volume nine, number eight: Self-Portrait with Easel by Rembrandt.

Hello, and welcome to Listening to Art. I’m William Denton.

This is the second of two issues devoted to self-portraits by Rembrandt. I quote again from The Story of Art by Ernst Gombrich (p. 420); he is writing about a different work, painted a few years before this one from 1660, but the description is still perfectly true:

It was not a beautiful face, and Rembrandt certainly never tried to conceal its ugliness. He observed himself in a mirror with complete sincerity. It is because of this sincerity that we soon forget to ask about beauty or looks. This is the face of a real human being. There is no trace of a pose, no trace of vanity, just the penetrating gaze of a painter who scrutinizes his own features, ever ready to learn more and more about the secrets of the human face.

This is a painting, oil on canvas, 85 cm wide by 111 cm high.

Now let’s listen to Self-Portrait with Easel by Rembrandt, recorded at the Louvre, in Paris, on 18 July 2019.

Waveform of the field recording.

That was Self-Portrait with Easel by Rembrandt. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

For more information and links to things I’ve mentioned, please visit

Listening to Art is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


All web sites accessed as of date of publication.

Gombrich, Ernst. The Story of Art. 15th ed. London: Phaidon, 1995.

Musée du Louvre. “Autoportrait au chevalet et à l’appuie-main de peintre.” Site officiel du musée du Louvre.

Wikipedia, s.v. “Rembrandt,”