"We get outside ourselves through art" - Marcel Proust (1871– 1922)

'Us Old Masters often spend years painting the perfect portrait.'

Two Clients of Rembrandt have waited so long for him to finish their portrait that they have aged visibly in the meantime. Rembrandt was notoriously difficult to deal with and patrons who commissioned portraits had to be prepared to wait many years and endure innumerable sittings before he would complete the painting. (It is a fault to which, later, Cezanne was subject). When the Sicilian nobleman, Don Antonio Ruffo finally, after long delays, received, Aristotle with the bust of Homer he had commissioned from Rembrandt he discovered that the artist had painted it onto a support put together from a patchwork of odd-sized linen strips. The artist had sewn together scraps of canvas to make up a bigger canvas. It is no surprise, therefore, that when the client finally received the portrait of himself his wife or member of his family it would be rejected because the likeness was unsatisfactory, or the style of clothes the sitter is wearing had gone out of fashion. This, (in the case, say, of the portrait of a young girl) was to be expected when the execution had taken, maybe, six or more years to complete. In the Rijksmuseum's, Bartholomeus van der Helst 1642, Portrait of Andries Bicker the subject is wearing a millstone white collar. A later portrait of his son, Gerard Bicker is wearing a flat collar. It seems that, in this example, Rembrandt has spent rather too long on painting the perfect portrait.

are available for book illustrations, annual reports, paper and packaging, giftware, related products. You can license them in the following format: Original transparencies in 6 x 6 cm. (2¼ in.) format, high-resolution RGB drum scans on DVD or efficient and quick E-Mail or FTP upload.