Roughness is the sensual quality most often associated with Rembrandt's idiosyncratic style. It best defines the specific structure of his painterly textures, which subtly capture and engage the imagination of the beholder. Rembrandt's Roughness examines how the artist's unconventional technique pushed the possibilities of painting into startling and unexpected realms. Drawing on the phenomenological insights of Edmund Husserl as well as firsthand accounts by Rembrandt's contemporaries, Nicola Suthor provides invaluable new perspectives on many of the painter's best-known masterpieces, including The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deyman, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and Aristotle with a Bust of Homer. She focuses on pictorial phenomena such as the thickness of the paint material, the visibility of the colored priming, and the dramatizing element of chiaroscuro, showing how they constitute Rembrandt's most effective tools for extending the representational limits of painting. Suthor explores how Rembrandt developed a visually precise handling of his artistic medium that forced his viewers to confront the paint itself as a source of meaning, its challenging complexity expressed in the subtlest stroke of his brush. A beautifully illustrated meditation on a painter like no other, Rembrandt's Roughness reflects deeply on the intellectual challenge that Rembrandt's unrivaled artistry posed to the art theory of his time and its eminent role in the history of art today.
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.
Drawing on and furthering the enterprise of Rembrandt scholars, who have been reinterpreting the artist and his work over the past 25 years, Alpers presents new considerations about Rembrandt's handling of paint, his theatrical approach to his models, his use of his studio as an environment under his control, and his relationship to those who bought his work. Her study is timely in light of recent research showing that well-known works attributed to Rembrandt are by followers instead. Alpers developed her text from a lecture series, and the prose gains readability by retaining some of the flavor of a talk. Still, this will find its audience chiefly among scholars and specialists in the field. Kathryn W. Finkelstein, M. Ln., Cincinnati Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. -- From Library Journal.
This comprehensive and lushly illustrated volume considers Rembrandt from three basic viewpoints -- collecting; paintings; drawings and prints. As he was an enormously prolific draftsman (over 2,000 of his drawings survive) and 300 etchings (a third of which are housed in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), the information on his prints is especially informative, covering his techniques, the Dutch tradition, self-portraits, religious subjects, landscapes, nudes, genre, illustration. Provocative text covers periods of art collecting, issues of attribution, and varying patterns of estimation about him during the 20th century. Analyses of works are original and thought-provoking. (National Gallery of Victoria)
Through a unique and stunning collection of paintings, sculpture, rare books, and works on paper, Divine Mirrors examines the complex relationship between sacred imagery and secular identity in the art of the Madonna. This magnificent work--born from a multi-year project that included a museum exhibition, scholarly symposium, and reinstallation of a segment of the permanent collection of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College--features the work of such renowned artists as Il Pintoricchio, Mantegna, Munch, and Leger, alongside fresh, undiscovered masters and little-known works of art. The book's fifty catalogue entries range from a rare thirteenth-century panel painting to a specially commissioned artwork exploring the intersection of religion and modern life. This volume investigates everything from non-Western perceptions of European religious practices to the Virgin Mary's voice in musical composition. In the opening essay "The Many Names of the Mother of God" noted scholar Robert A. Orsi considers why images of Mary offer contemporary Americans such a powerful visual experience. Unlike paintings and sculptures created solely for aesthetic contemplation, Orsi writes, images of Mary are more than just artistic representations--they become for us an embodiment of the Virgin Mother herself. Then, moving into the historical realm, editor Melissa R. Katz guides us on a twenty-century chronological tour that explores the intersection of art history and world history in representations of Mary. Katz's essay "Regarding Mary: Women's Lives Reflected in the Virgin's Image" takes the elements of Marian iconography most relevant to the study of art and weaves them together to provide a guide for modern audiences to engage with the religious origins of our common artistic legacy. Filled with fascinating information, this important work requires no particular background in art history, religion, or the Bible. Readers of all levels will be rewarded with an in-depth encounter with a remarkable and complex figure.