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Rembrandt van Rijn
Aristotle with a Bust of Homer
Oil on canvas

56 1/2 x 53 3/4 inches
Purchase, special contributions and funds given or bequeathed by friends of the Museum, 1961

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Excerpt from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) rests his hand reflectively on a bust of Homer, the blind epic poet of the Iliad and the Odyssey. A medallion representing Alexander the Great, whom Aristotle tutored, hangs from the heavy gold chain. The philosopher contemplates material rewards as opposed to spiritual values, with the play of light and shadow on his features suggesting the motions of his mind. Painted for the great Sicilian collector Antonio Ruffo, the picture also refers to Aristotles comparison of touch and sight as a means of acquiring knowledge. For further discussion of this work, see



The Age of Rembrandt
Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Additional Documentation:

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669): Paintings
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Rembrandt [Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn], Dutch, (1606–1669)
b. July 15, 1606, Leiden
d. 1669
Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: July 15

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