Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt

Towards the end of the '30s Dutch painting shows a withdrawal from the Baroque. Tones become monochromatic, the narrative loses some of its emphasis and theatricality to become more sober. Rembrandt joins in the trend. In his pictures of Prophets and Saints from the Old and the New Testaments he achieves a balance between historical painting and the intimate style of the pictures of interiors which are traditional in Flanders and in Holland.

The objects and the decoration are painted in great detail but their realism is attenuated by the luminous halo diffused over the picture. The clearly defined chiaroscuro of the preceding years has been replaced by a diffused light which is propagated by the surface of the objects. The depth of space, the height of the vault communicate the feeling of a humanity at the same time near and far away. The window does not open on the outside but on the divine life of the Saint.