KULENOVIC  C o l l e c t i o n - Works on Paper

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Rembrandt Van Rijn 
“ The travelling musicians “
(1635 )  


The blind hurdy-gurdy player continues to be a popular theme in Dutch art throughout the seventeenth century reaching
perhaps its most profound expression in the art of Rembrandt. In most instances Rembrandt's use of the blind
hurdy-gurdy player is well within both the literary and artistic traditions for the motif. Rembrandt's earliest etched version
of a blind hurdy-gurdy player, done c. 1635, is easily recognized as one of the two itinerant players in the Strolling
[or Travelling] Musicians
. The scene does not represent a kermis or a festival day, rather, it is already night and these
wanderers are still out trying to gather alms. This depiction of a blind hurdy-gurdy man playing at a door for alms is
well within the tradition popularized by Vinckboons at the turn of the century.