Google is celebrating the 407th birthday of artist Rembrandt van Rijn with a homepage doodle that pays homage to an oil on canvas painting from 1659.
Google.com today features a darkened background with Rembrandt's self portrait - known as "Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar" - in front of the logo.
According to the National Gallery of Art, which has housed the self portrait since 1937, Rembrandt painted this self portrait after he'd been forced to sell many of his possessions to pay off debts.
"Early descriptions of the painting therefore mentioned an aura of melancholy surrounding the artist, yet the removal of dark, discolored varnish in 1992 proved that interpreting paintings on the basis of an artist's chronological life story is dangerous: the cleaned portrait revealed a rich range of pinks and bright flesh tones, forcing a reassessment of Rembrandt's 'mood,'" according to the gallery. "Instead of sadness, the deep–set eyes that bore into those of the viewer seem to express inner strength and dignity."
Rembrandt's self portrait was reportedly inspired by a Raphael portrait he saw at a 1639 auction in Amsterdam.
The artist was born in 1606 and relocated to Amsterdam in 1631, where he set up a studio in the office of art dealer Hendrick van Uylenburgh, according to a biography from the Getty Museum. He became well-known for his portraits. "The core of Rembrandt's oeuvre, however, consists of biblical and—to a much lesser extent—historical, mythological, and allegorical "history pieces," all of which he painted, etched, or sketched in pen and ink or chalk," according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Later in life, Rembrandt ran into financial troubles, but he was still a sought-after artist. He died in 1669.