The Big Picture


6.5 Concluding Remarks

It is unfortunate that the image of Seybold still held today has largely been formed by inaccuracies and misconceptions concerning his artistic legacy; even Gerson proved unable to rectify this. The fact that Seybold’s artistry had more to offer than the Poren-mode becomes clear from the works he painted in a different manner. In particular, several of Seybold’s self-portraits discussed above bear witness to their indebtedness of other masters than Denner. The characteristics of at least five Rembrandt portraits (figs. 29, 31-32 and 34-35) appear to have been normative for Seybold’s self-portraits in Nuremberg (fig. 37), Sibiu (fig. 39), Bamberg (fig. 41) and the Self-Portrait with the ‘Wienerisches Diarium’ in Budapest (fig. 42). The early and late self-portraits by Rembrandt that were accessible in Seybold’s home city of Vienna seem to have had a particularly profound impact on the colour scheme, costume, lighting and composition of these works. Like many paintings in his œuvre, these portraits exemplify Seybold’s ability to adapt and emulate examples of renowned predecessors, while demonstrating superb technical skills. Seybold’s virtuosity emerges from his idiosyncratic iconography, which incorporated motifs from the pictorial tradition and art theory, as well as motifs from nonstandard sources to represent subjects (fig. 13 and 42). These assets made the ingenious painter fully deserving of his rewards, accolades and approbations, as well as our in-depth attention.1


1 For their corrections of the English translation, I thank Steve Kane and Rudie van Leeuwen.

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