|thanks wikipaintings.org; public domain|
I'm almost hesitant to even start talking about Rembrandt, because he's such a towering figure in Baroque art. But I will say that I find him the Baroque artist capable of the tenderest closeness with man and beast alike. Look casually at a number of his works, whether paintings or etchings (at which he was a master, as you see here). I will bet that you see many unguarded moments and expressions that normally are gone too fast to capture. Plus, the sheer rich layers of work that go into Rembrandt's etchings are a pleasure in and of themselves. I'll venture, here, that this pup was probably next to the fireplace, which is why his little head is so brightly lit, but the rest of him gradually is licked by shadows. Is that a ribbon he was playing with, perhaps?