Self-Portraits (A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Volume 4)
Ernst van de Wetering
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Volume IV of A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings deals uniquely with the self-portraits of Rembrandt. In a clearly written explanatory style the head of the Rembrandt Research Project and Editor of this Volume, Ernst van de Wetering, discusses the full body of work of paintings and etchings portraying Rembrandt. He sets the different parameters for accepting or rejecting a Rembrandt self-portrait as such, whilst also discussing the exact working environment of Rembrandt and his apprentices. This workshop setting created a surroundings where apprentices could be involved in working on Rembrandt paintings making it more difficult to determine the hand of the master. Van de Wetering, who is one of the Rembrandt experts of our day and age, goes down to great detail to explain how the different self-portraits are made and what techniques Rembrandt uses, also giving an overview of which paintings are to be attributed to the Dutch Master and which not.
In the additional catalogue the self-portraits are examined in detail. In clear and accessible explanatory text the different paintings are discussed, larded with immaculate images of each painting. Details are shown where possible, as well as the results of modern day technical imaging like X-radiography.
This work of art history and art research should be part of every serious art historical institute, university or museum. Nowhere in the art history have all Rembrandt’s self portraits been discussed in such detailed and comparative manner by an authority such as Ernst van de Wetering. This is a standard work for decades to come.
this housecoat and slippers. In an etching by Vincent van der Vinne (fig. 16) a painter is shown dressed in a Japonse rock in combination with a sleeping cap and slippers. Indeed, the Japonse rock occurs frequently in the inventories of painters. In the 21 examples of Amsterdam artist's inventories they are listed among the effects of painters in the second half of the 17th century, including Johannes Beerstraten, Jan van de Capelle, Edo Quiter, Lambert Doomer and Michiel van Musscher (appendix
his brushes on his clothes may be interpreted as an illustration of this presumed social non-conformism.f? Baldinucci obtained his information from Bernhard Keil, a Dane, who worked in Rembrandt's studio during the first half of the 1640s. Although this source seems to be reliable, various facts are inaccurate: this statement should therefore also be considered with caution.P'' While art-theoretical statements relating to the wearing of working clothes are extremely rare, Raupp makes an
borstrock Een oude graellwelakense innocent-rock p. 380 Veerlierl linne hemdm Twee untie borstrockm Twinligh biffen Eenenuomtich sackneusdoecken Fourtee n linen shirts Two white waistcoa ts Twe nty bands T went y-one pocket han dkerch iefs Eight cravat s Twel ve whit e nightcaps, three of them of wool Five pair s of un der-stockings Four pairs of upp er-stockings Acht dassen T waelff untie slapemutsen, doer onder dne u ollen Vijffpaer onderkousen Vier paer bouen kousen 19. GAA, No!. H.
paint in this passage was perceived to be atypical. In the Bader painting can be observed yet another deviation (figs. 33, 38, 43). A fairly smoothly applied complex of highlights creates a continuum in the illuminated areas. In their transition to the shaded areas, the highlights along the edges of these lit zones disturb the shape of the head and are anything but successful in achieving the desired effect of light or suggestion of plasticity (compare, for example, the tip and the wing of the
been freighte d with significance. On the other han d, we know th at R em brandt mu st have regarded the world of art lovers and conoisseurs of his time with a certain scep ticism. If the presen t author's interpretation of R em brand t's drawing of c. 1644 , the socalled 'Sa tire on Art C riticism' 124, is correc t, R embrandt must ha ve had m ixed feelings about his publi c. Is it possible th at those self-por traits produced by pupils or other members of his workshop especially in the decades