Whether portraits or selfies, we like to document our existence through pictures. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was all the rage to commission portraits of oneself—the ultimate status symbol for emperors, aristocrats, and successful merchants alike. Subjects would sit for hours, stiffly holding a position that showed them to advantage. Usually that meant a straight neck, a triumphant posture, and a background of rich textiles and decor. This exhibition focuses on the period of portraiture’s rise. One hundred works from Europe and the United States are on view, including portraits by Albrecht Dürer and Sofonisba Anguissola. —E.C.
Rijksmuseum Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands Get Directions »