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A revised survey of Rembrandt's complete painted oeuvre.
The question of which 17th-century paintings in Rembrandt's style were actually painted by Rembrandt himself had already become an issue during his lifetime. It is an issue that is still hotly disputed among art historians today.
The problem arose because Rembrandt had numerous pupils who learned the art of painting by imitating their master or by assisting him with his work as a portrait painter. He also left pieces unfinished, to be completed by others.
The question is how to determine which works were from Rembrandt's own hand. Can we, for example, define the criteria of quality that would allow us to distinguish the master's work from that of his followers? Do we yet have methods of investigation that would deliver objective evidence of authenticity? To what extent do research techniques used in the physical sciences help? Or are we, after all, still dependent on the subjective, expert eye of the connoisseur? The book provides answers to these questions.
Prof. Ernst van de Wetering, the author of our forthcoming book which deals with these questions, has been closely involved in all aspects of this research since 1968, the year the renowned Rembrandt Research Project (RRP) was founded. In particular, he played an important role in developing new criteria for authentication. Van de Wetering was also witness to the way the often overly zealous tendency to doubt the authenticity of Rembrandt's paintings got out of hand. In this book he re-attributes to the master a substantial number of unjustly rejected Rembrandts. He also was closely involved in the (re)discovery of a considerable number of lost or completely unknown works by Rembrandt.
The verdicts of earlier specialists - including the majority of members of the original RRP (up to 1989) - were based on connoisseurship: the self-confidence in one's ability to recognise a specific artist's style and 'hand'. Over the years, Van de Wetering has carried out seminal research into 17th-century studio practice and ideas about art current in Rembrandt's time. In this book he demonstrates the fallibility of traditional connoisseurship, especially in the case of Rembrandt, who was par excellence a searching artist.
The methodological implications of this critical view are discussed in an introductory chapter which relates the history of the developments in this turbulent field of research. Van de Wetering's account of his own involvement in it makes this book a lively and sometimes unexpectedly personal account.
The catalogue section presents a chronologically ordered survey of Rembrandt's entire painted oeuvre of 336 paintings, richly illustrated and annotated. For all the paintings re-attributed in this book, extensive commentaries have been included that provide a multi-facetted new insight into Rembrandt's world and the world of art-historical research.
Rembrandt's Paintings Revisited is the concluding sixth volume of A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings (Volumes I-V; 1982, 1986, 1989, 2005, 2010). It can also be read as a revisionary critique of the first three Volumes published by the old RRP team up till 1989 and of Gerson's influential survey of Rembrandt's painted oeuvre of 1968/69. At the same time, the book is designed as an independent overview that can be used on the basis that anyone seeking more detailed information will be referred to the five previous (digital versions of the) Volumes and the detailed catalogues published in the meantime by the various museums with collections of Rembrandt paintings.
This work of art history and art research should belong in the library of every serious art historical institute, university or museum.
The hustle and bustle of London, its changing landscape and infinite sights have provided a rich subject for the many artists who have visited and inhabited the city. From the earliest known paintings, artists have sought to encapsulate their impressions of this lively metropolis. Their representations are fascinatingly diverse, revealing visions of London that let us see the city as it has been experienced and reflected by a variety of artists through the centuries. From recognisable views of the River Thames, St Paul's and Tower Bridge, to idyllic scenes of London's residential squares and streets, or paintings capturing the architectural feats and engineering marvels of their day, artists have documented a developing London - a London which found wealth and confidence and was to emerge as the first truly modern city. Drawing from Tate's superb collection and beyond, this stunning book presents 100 paintings from the 17th century to the present. Whether iconic or unusual, topographical or verging on the abstract, each work offers a special perspective. Contextualised by an insight into the chosen view or location, the artist, and their particular technique, the paintings are also accompanied by revealing and memorable anecdotes which vividly bring the images to life. Featuring some of the world's most influential artists - Canaletto, Turner, Constable, Pissarro, Monet, Kossoff and Auerbach - as well as lesser-known contemporary artists, such as David Hepher and Lisa Milroy, London in Paint brings together a selection of artworks which portray the changing faces of London, and provide a fresh look - through artists' eyes - at this much-loved global city.
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