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Rembrandt By Himself Rembrandt

Rembrandt By Himself

Rembrandt

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ISBN : 9781857092707
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 About the Book 

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) may not have been a handsome man, but he was an exceptional painter of himself. This sumptuous catalog, published to coincide with the exhibition of his self-portraits at the National Gallery in London, has glossyMoreRembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) may not have been a handsome man, but he was an exceptional painter of himself. This sumptuous catalog, published to coincide with the exhibition of his self-portraits at the National Gallery in London, has glossy reproductions of all the paintings and etchings from the show, plus copies of works that are long lost and some not released by the galleries or private collectors who own them. The images are all thoroughly annotated to elucidate their history, and the scholarship is impressive, being mostly drawn from the Rembrandt Research Project, which for years has been working with a combination of x-ray technology and patient research to ascertain the age of the pictures and confirm the identity of their painter. This is not easy work: Rembrandt had many pupils, and he encouraged them to copy his own self-portraits as practice, leading to the unusual situation of a host of Rembrandt self-portraits not actually painted by the master himself. The findings of the project have been contentious, with paintings unexpectedly relegated or elevated through reappraisal. What shines through, though, is the sheer diversity of Rembrandts genius: the early paintings and etchings in which he turns to a mirror to study expression- the periods of dressing up variously as an Oriental potentate, a soldier, an artisan, and St. Paul- and the famous trilogy of self-portraits painted in his final year that seem to show a man old beyond his years. The catalog also contains a selection of works by his pupils Gerrit Dou and Samuel van Hoogstraten and essays by Rembrandt scholars that seek to revise the somewhat romantic conceit that the series is some sort of spiritual autobiography. Rembrandt by Himself, an intelligent and resourceful accompaniment to the exhibition, will continue to transport the reader long after the portraits in the exhibition have returned to their respective homes. --David Vincent, Amazon.co.uk