At the Rembrandt exhibition yesterday (NG) I was transfixed by the first self-portrait (from Washington DC).
Superficially the first room reminded me of "selfies". His portraits are as controlled as the ones we take, with a pose the "for the camera" expression. But ours rarely expose our vulnerability.
It is not merely a two dimensional image, or even three - although it is impossible to see this painting without feeling the physicality of his wrinkled skin, bulbous nose and frizzled hair. It also contains time, his dark eyes contain the shadow of life's brutality, the ravages of success and tragedy alike make this visually eloquent in a way no photograph could ever be.