Rembrandt: Two Men in Discussion

black ink drawing of two men in hats, one gesturing with hand

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669)
Two Men in Discussion
Quill and reed pen in brown ink, with corrections in white gouache
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

In this sheet Rembrandt uses both a quill and a reed pen, reworking the finer, fluid lines of the former with the thicker, heavier strokes of the latter. The combination lends weight to the figures and a greater intensity of light and shadow. The vaguely exotic costumes worn by the figures could have been inspired by fantasy or by the attire of the many foreign merchants residing in seventeenth-century Amsterdam.

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