The 20th-century painter Philip Guston said that "In the end, there is only Rembrandt". In his book, Rembrandt's Nose, Michael Taylor attempts to get at what makes Rembrandt's portraits so vividly, palpably human. He pins his theory on the nose.
My portrait students in particular will appreciate the subject as we prepare to study what makes a nose a nose. I'll have to read the book to find out how Taylor thinks the nose makes the portrait. And since one of the book's admirers is the poet W.S. Merwin, I am that much more interested to find out.
Self Portrait With Beret And Turned-Up Collar
1659 84.4 x 66 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington