Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyDid Rembrandt's nasty disposition, tactlessness and underhanded dealings sabotage his career? That is the extreme conclusion of Schwartz, who has sifted through thousands of source documents in Amsterdam archives to produce this monumental study. We see an embittered genius, unable or unwilling to win the protection of clan leaders that was essential to advancement. In nearly 40 years at the Amsterdam court, Rembrandt never painted a burgomaster. By painstakingly piecing together the painter's connections with dealers, customers and friends, Schwartz shows that Rembrandt was dependent on a group of patrons that remained fairly fixed. From commercial success as a facile ``face-painter,'' the Dutch master was driven to create his individual style. But as the interpreter of set cultural and religious ideals for his patrons, his artistic scope was more limited than most scholars assume, according to Schwartz. Part biography, part catalogue, this attractive volume claims to be the first to present color reproductions of all Rembrandt's paintings, except for those few squirreled away by private collectors. Indispensable for the serious student of Rembrandt. December
Library Journal - Library JournalSchwartz's masterfully documented study should both revolutionize and illuminate our understanding of Rembrandt's life and works. Through a scrupulous investigation of the master's personal and professional relationship with the religious, political, and cultural factions within Dutch society, the author rediscovers the man and the artist within the milieu in which he labored. Rembrandt's paintings may no longer be comprehended as largely subjective expression, but rather as an interpretation of the intellectual and spiritual concerns of the master's circumscribed circle of patrons. The excellence and accessibility of the text along with the color reproduction of the complete corpus of paintings make this a strongly recommended acquisition for all art collections. Robert Cahn, Social Sciences Dept., Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
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