Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Buster’s handwriting was clearly the work of someone who has been taught penmanship in a day when penmanship was a basic part of education. [7] In 1969, Julius Held argued that it was Aristotle in the painting by analyzing his facial features, his clothes and the objects he holds. The mysterious tone in the painting has led several scholars to different interpretations of Rembrandt's theme. [6] According to Held, Aristotle is known for his long hair and beard, fancy jewelry and extravagant dresses, which can be seen in other paintings that featured him between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe. Schama presents a substantial argument that it was the famous ancient Greek painter Apelles who is depicted in Rembrandt's painting. [3] When Hume died, his descendants sold it to Rodolphe Kann in Paris. [9], Beranek mentions that the gold chain is a token of great honor, since receiving gold is an old practice that recognizes someone's greatest achievement. Aristotle also talks of the “pleasure” that is proper to tragedy, apparently meaning the aesthetic pleasure one gets from contemplating the pity and fear that are aroused through an intricately constructed work of art (context). [2] All of these elements helped create a feeling of deep contemplation, which is what the viewers could find relatable. During the renovation of the Rembrandt wing of the Metropolitan Museum, the painting was re-titled in November 2013 Aristotle with a Bust of Homer. [1] Despite not knowing what Rembrandt would create, he was already eager to hang it in his Hall of Fame. We might profitably compare this view of Aristotle with that expressed by Susanne Langer in our first reading According to Charles Mee, perhaps Don Antonio did not think it was good enough. It was created as a commission for Don Antonio Ruffo's collection. Aristotle wears a gold medallion with a portrait of his powerful pupil, Alexander the Great; perhaps the philosopher is weighing his own worldly success against Homer’s timeless achievement. It was bought and sold to several collectors until it eventually ended up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [2] During the 1650s, people were in a state of existentialism after science made new discoveries about the universe, so Rembrandt's theme of contemplation was a relatable subject. [8] Eventually, it was purchased in 1961 for $2.3 million by the Metropolitan Museum of Art[1] in New York City, USA. The front page of that day’s New York Times bore a large photo of crowds at the Met viewing Rembrandt’s famous painting “Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer… [4] This inspired the American artist Otis Kaye to critique the sale (and by extension the power of money in art) with his own painting "Heart of the Matter" which is held at the Art Institute of Chicago. Rembrandt, Self-Portrait with Two Circles, Willem Kalf, Still Life with a Silver Ewer, Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance, Practice: Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance, Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Ruisdael, View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds. [2] Rembrandt later created Homer Dictating his Verses and a lost painting of Alexander the Great for Ruffo, both ten years after completing Aristotle with a Bust of Homer. [3] The eyes usually hint at a person's inner thoughts, but the use of shadows implies that there is a mystery to what Aristotle is feeling at that moment. The interpretation of methodical science deferring to art is discussed at length in Rembrandt's Aristotle and Other Rembrandt Studies. [2] Also, he painted a black apron since the color black represents melancholy. In, This page was last edited on 4 October 2020, at 07:16. rests his hand pensively on a bust of Homer, the epic poet who had attained literary immortality with his Iliad and Odyssey centuries before. [8] It has also been suggested that this is Rembrandt's commentary on the power of portraiture. “Rembrandt's ‘Aristotle’: Exemplary Beholder.”, Knox, Sanka (1961-11-16) "Museum Gets Rembrandt for 2.3 Million, Rousseau, Theodore. [2] However, Guercino's piece disappeared for no apparent reason. He was photographed inspecting the estate of the late Buster Keaton and the photo caption in the Los Angeles Times read: ''Aristotle Contemplating the Home of Buster.'' [3] These art choices are supposed to imply the different moods he felt while he was painting this piece. It’s an easy one to disprove. 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