Picasso was Rembrandt

Under the theme 'Artist as Other Artist' I show how many painters and sculptors over the centuries have, in one way or another, adopted the persona of an earlier artist. The mask they then inhabit helps disguise their own role within the scene as an alter ego yet conveys important meaning: that they and the earlier artist thought alike. It is not mere homage. Art on this level, they seem to suggest, is not generated by the ego alone but with the help of some indescribable power they both have shared. Many used to call that power divine; today we might call it an aspect of nature. Either way, or whatever it is, you and I have probably never experienced it. There are many ways for visual poets to convey their shared experience, as I show under that theme in examples from Titian to Picasso. I raise the subject here because I just came across an example in Picasso's life, from outside his art. When asked by friends and acquaintances to inscribe a book, he is said to have sometimes sketched a little Rembrandt self-portrait above his signature thereby conveying that his creative mind and Rembrandt's were similar if not the same. Put another way from his own point-of-view, Picasso sometimes thought he had been Rembrandt.

To give you a specific example easily, I am re-publishing today my interpretation of Titian's Portrait of a Gentleman (c.1520) in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. 

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