Saturday, July 15, 2006

Happy birthday Rembrandt

Portrait of a Man. Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. Oil on canvas. 71x61 cm Holland. 1661; via the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

Rembrandt was born July 15th, 1606. Even though he was buried in an unmarked grave he's probably dead, given the considerable unlikelihood of somebody making it to 400. I imagine that if humanity ever finds some way of allowing people to live that long, only the super-rich* will have access to it, and might even routinely fake their own deaths so as to help keep the secret of pseudo-immortality under wraps, what with ordinary schmoes being ticked off at the waste, of all those resources having been misallocated to find said secret instead of curing more ordinary illnesses. And urban legends will periodically arise about various extremely wealthy persons who choose to be cremated having in fact gone that route. I'm just saying.

Anyway, happy birthday Rembrandt.

*Ironically, Rembrandt himself was not among those super-rich of his day, dying without terribly much.