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Rembrandt Laughing: Passion in the Early Self-Portraits at the Kimbell Art Museum

Perry Chapman, professor of art history at the University of Delaware, Newark, will present a free lecture titled “ ‘Rembrandt Laughing’: Passion in the Early Self-Portraits,” on Friday, April 9, at 6 p.m. in the Kimbell Art Museum auditorium.

Over the course of his career, Rembrandt van Rijn produced an unprecedented and unmatched array of self-portraits, including the recently rediscovered Rembrandt Laughing (private collection), on view at the Museum as a “Guest of Honor.” This free lecture focuses on Rembrandt’s earliest self-portraits. Frequently called expression studies, some of these informal images show Rembrandt looking in the mirror and laughing, frowning, or grimacing. Others use dramatic lighting to suggest inner states. Challenging the assertion that these are not self-portraits, Chapman places Rembrandt’s initial experiments in expressive self-portrayal in the broader context of his representation of emotion.

Chapman is the author of Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits: A Study in Seventeenth-Century Identity and co-author of the exhibition catalogue Jan Steen: Painter and Storyteller, as well as numerous articles on Dutch painting, art theory, and artistic identity. Her work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Kimbell Art Museum hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays, noon–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–5 p.m.; closed Mondays. For general information, call 817-332-8451. Web site:

*Admission to the permanent collection is always free.

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