Google plays artist with Rembrandt-inspired Doodle

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Break out your favorite floppy hat and pop that collar: Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn turns 407 years young today.

Google is feting the occasion with this dimly lit Doodle, which pays tribute both to Rembrandt’s etchings and one of his most famous proto-selfies, Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar. If you happen to be in our nation’s capital today, pay the canvas a visit — the painting has been displayed in the National Gallery of Art since 1937.

The mononymous artist was born in 1606 to parents with names that even Spelling Bee champ Arvind Mahankali might have trouble sounding out: Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck. Over the course of his 63 years on Earth, he produced some 600 paintings and etchings, including around 40 self-portraits.

This enormous output is both impressive and understandable, given Rembrandt’s insatiable taste for the finer things in life. His tremendous volume of work couldn’t quite save the guy from debt — even after selling off his lavish collections of Japanese armor and Roman emperor busts in 1656, the painter was forced to sell his house and move into more modest accommodations in 1660. Rembrandt died three years later.

Remember Rembrandt today by making something amazing on your Etch-a-Sketch, taking photos of  yourself posing in old Halloween costumes, and/or drawing a goofy cartoon of your 24-year-old self — the picture may not go for £19.8 million at auction (and that’s in 2000 money!), but making it will certainly be more fun than exploring your Myspace angles.

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