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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 1, 2010 

Genius in art, although difficult to explain, is easily viewed in work by Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and others.

A University of British Columbia researcher has a new theory on what makes Rembrandt’s masterful portraits so appealing.

In the study, published in the current issue of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s arts and sciences journal Leonardo, UBC researcher Steve DiPaola argues that Rembrandt may have pioneered a technique that guides the viewer’s gaze around a portrait, creating a special narrative and “calmer” viewing experience.

Renaissance artists used various techniques to engage viewers, many incorporating new scientific knowledge on lighting, spatial layout and perspectives.

To isolate and pinpoint factors that contribute to the “magic” of Rembrandt’s portraits, DiPaola used computer-rendering programs to recreate four of the artist’s most famous portraits from photographs of himself and other models.

Replicating Rembrandt’s techniques, he placed a sharper focus on specific areas of the model’s face, such as the eyes.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/06/01/enchantment-of-rembrandt-explained/14208.html



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