Rembrandt: Two Old Men Disputing

Two Old Men Disputing: Rembrandt

Two Old Men Disputing, a very early 1628 work by Dutch painter Rembrandt depicts two scholars, or my many art historians are of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in the midst of a debate.

The elder of the two is facing us making his point to the younger scholar who, by his lower position in the painting and a similar orientation to the elder man to us, i.e. he is facing the same direction as us, seems to be placed by the artist in the role of listener along with the painting’s viewer. This suggests the two virtues of reasoned argument and receptiveness to reason.

This is one of the most famous Rembrandt paintings, demonstrating his remarkable technique at such a young age.

Rembrandt’s Two Old Men Disputing is in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

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