The Syndics of the Staalmeesters of the drapers guild(1662). Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn (1606-1669)

Substitute imagery

Rembrandt’s painting of a group of sampling officials of Amsterdam cloth makers has been considered a “snapshot” of a real event — in other words, substitute imagery.

Benjamin Binstock found through X-rays and analysis of Rembrandt’s sketches that the artist struggled with the painting as an artistic composition that “self-consciously reflects on portraiture as a process in space and time.”

(Binstock, Benjamin, Seeing Representations; Or, The Hidden Master in Rembrandt’s “Syndics.” in Representations © 2003 University of California Press)