Rembrandt is one of the most important painters in European art history, and this large, lavishly illustrated volume reinforces that image without skirting controversy (including debates over some of his works' authenticity). Dutch art scholar and columnist Schwartz is clearly an expert on the artist, encapsulating his style in sharp bursts of insight: "Human weakness and-especially-human strength inspired him. He found it not only in heroic action but also in resignation and introspection." But the author doesn't shy from paintings considered less successful, such as the so-called "Leiden history painting," "full of portentous details that do not correspond sufficiently to any known iconography." In contextualizing these works, Schwartz is careful to explain Rembrandt's beliefs, worldview and inspiration: "The text [of the Bible] was, however, only one of the givens... [along] with non-biblical literary sources; models in older art... antiquarian research; knowledge of folkways... and his own imagination." It's this complete view that makes the book so insightful, but it's the personal details that will gain readers' trust: "Few artists' biographers had anything nice to say about him as a person." This detailed, down-to-earth character sketching, combined with solid biographic and historical information, makes this book as intellectually substantial as it is gorgeous. 700 full-color illus. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Rembrandt Bookby Gary Schwartz
Rembrandt was an esteemed artist in his own time as well as in the present,
With international attention focused on the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt von Rijn's birth, the world's leading Rembrandt expert weighs in with a penetrating-and accessible-examination of the Dutch master's life and art from both the biographical and the art historical perspective.
Rembrandt was an esteemed artist in his own time as well as in the present, yet there is much debate over how many paintings and drawings can really be attributed to him, and popular scholastic opinion varies widely. In his lively text, accompanied by 700 full-color illustrations, Gary Schwartz addresses the central controversies, providing art historians, students, and art lovers with essential new insights to help clarify the mysteries surrounding the great painter.
Schwartz (Rembrandt, His Life, His Paintings: A New Biography), who maintains the online art history column, "The Schwartzlist", created this handsome, liberally illustrated work (with 700 full-color reproductions) in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn's birth. In addition to a brief biography, he provides a complete thematic overview of key issues, materials, techniques, and people encompassing Rembrandt's world, including family members and patrons, and he treats the artist's drawings, etchings, landscape paintings, portraits, and allegorical as well as genre paintings within the context of 17th-century Holland. Though it is not footnoted, the accessible text makes evident Schwartz's expertise on his subject, as does the extensive bibliography. Schwartz sometimes departs from the prevailing wisdom, e.g., when asserting that Rembrandt's landscapes might not have been based on religion but served as an escape from personal tragedy, particularly the deaths of the artist's wife and son and the loss of his home. A basic introduction for both the novice and the art historian on a much-loved and revered artist who peered into the human soul; highly recommended for all art book collections.
- Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.00(w) x 13.00(h) x 1.37(d)
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