Rembrandt’s Portrait of Ephraim Bueno
The artist turns a nine-by-five inch board
into a mirror of the firmament,
producing light from darkness, government
of space from chaos, and a firm accord
between the eminence of God and man.
A gesture in the shadow of a hat.
An eye to anchor and convert the flat
expanse to covenant and master plan.
And through the space an aura radiates
a star’s terrain — celestial face, the hand
a downward-gliding satellite as cuff
and collar, feathered angel wings, command
a plane of lesser light and excavate
the human soul from sweeps of darker stuff.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, June 26, 2007