12 Jun 2013
art history meme | [8/9] paintings:pallas athena (or alexander the great), by rembrandt harmenszoon van rijn (1664)Like almost all the late works of the Dutch painter, the subject of this canvas has been subjected to various interpretations. A young warrior is presented by the artist turned three-quarters to the viewer. He stands against a gloomy dark background. His fragile and feminine face is indistinct and not specific. There can be no doubt that this is a hero from Classical Antiquity, but who exactly is he? In the earliest manuscript catalogue of the Hermitage, Rembrandt’s canvas was mentioned as the Pallas Athena. However, not everyone agreed with this name. In the Baudouin Collection inventory, the composition was entered as a “Portrait of Alexander in the Armor of Pallas.” (the special protection of Athena was ascribed to Alexander the Great).