aristotle contemplating bust of homer

Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer

Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer is a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn. It was painted in 1653, as a commission from Don Antonio Ruffo, from Messina in Sicily, who did not know the particular topic, and currently resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by which it was purchased for $2.3 million.

Aristotle, world-weary, looks at the bust of blind, humble Homer, on which he rests his hands. This has variously been interpreted as the man of sound, methodical science deferring to Art, or as the wealthy and famous philosopher envying the poor blind bard. It has also been suggested that this is Rembrandt's commentary on the power of portraiture.

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