Rembrandt was cross-eyed

“Renowned 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt may have been cross-eyed, according to U.S. researchers.They say this form of stereoblindness, which occurs when someone’s eyes are not aligned when looking at an object, would have affected his ability to perceive depth.

Professor Margaret Livingstone, from Harvard Medical School, and colleague outline their research in today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Rembrandt was a prolific painter of self-portraits, producing almost 100, including some 20 etchings.When the Harvard researchers mapped the direction of Rembrandt’s gaze in 36 self-portraits, he was cross-eyed in 35. ”

I find stories like this to be fascinating. When you can use science to make educated guesses and develop sound theories about the past it just fills in so many little details.

There are a couple of other stories related to the art world that I find interesting too. They include Michelangelo may have been autistic and Mona Lisa’s smile may be trick of light.

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1 Comment

  1. Stacey September 16, 2004 at 6:08 pm

    Very cool that a disability can instead become an ability.

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