Rembrandt van Rijn: A Scholar in his Study (1650 - 1654)


(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving made by the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). A man is standing in a room, surrounded by a globe,a human skull, books, papers - signs that the man is scholar. He is apparently been interrupted from his work and is looking to a vision which appeared in front of his window. The vision itself is not exactly clear but it consists of one hand which is holding a mirror, while the other hand is pointing into it. The center of the vision is a circle which consists of several rings with letters:

In the center: INRI - this is an acronym of Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeoru (=Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews)
Second ring: ADAM TE DAGERAM
Third ring: AMRTET ALGAR ALGASTNA

The meaning of the words is unclear and a matter of debate for a lot of scholars. Engraving from 1650-1654.

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