There are indications that the famous painter Rembrandt two mirrors used in painting self-portraits. That way he projected his face on the canvas to then be able to trace. The English artist Francis O’Neill, who ten years long experimented with mirrors, presents this theory in a trade journal about optics.
In an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Optics (free edition) O’Neill explained how he thinks that Rembrandt proceeded. That would occasionally have a flat and a concave mirror used to his portrait razor sharp on the canvas.
Cheating freehand and rails
By this projection to pull over the artist would have achieved a higher precision. This is in the art world considered cheating. Most art historians believe that Rembrandt all his works has painted Freehand.
The English painter O’Neill has about ten years experimented with different lineups of mirrors. He discovered that when he let the light a zigzag pattern, there is a sharp image (upside down) appears on the screen, that he could properly trace. A condition was that one of the two mirrors was hollow.
‘ No mirrors ‘ approach to Rembrandt work
The Delft Professor of art history and architectural history when prompted, let know Joris Dik not much to see in the theory of O’Neill. ‘ There is a great deal written about the way of working of painters of the time and it is nothing about mirrors. Also on the many drawings that were made at the time of workshops, are no mirrors to see. ‘
An argument of O’Neill focuses on the self-portraits that Rembrandt laughing State. If he had used only one plane mirror, he had to look at themselves more and smiling. ‘ This seems to me to be very tiring, ‘ says O’Neill in the The New York Times. With a projection could simply covers his own face without his Rembrandt look having to move.
‘ Rembrandt probably had a kind of photographic memory; who could really keep an image a while in his head ‘, throw Thick against. ‘ O’Neill is fixed well with optics, but here he really underestimated the craft of painter. ‘
Francis O’Neill. At the top of a flat mirror, under reversed projected onto a copper plate.
O’Neill is not the first that comes up with the idea of the mirrors. In 2001 published the well-known English painter David Hockney and the Professor of Optics Charles Falco a book in which they claimed that several master painters in the secret mirrors and lenses used to extremely realistic paintings. This provided spirited discussions among scientists and art historians.
Professor of Thick believes that painters of the seventeenth century occasionally used tools. Thus, Vermeer in Delft very probably Antoni van Leeuwenhoek personally known, the inventor of the microscope. ‘ Vermeer is known that he masterfully handles depth in his work. That is a concept that you can only understand if you ever by a simple camera looked at”