Rembrandt: The Painter Thinking

Rembrandt: The Painter Thinking

by Ernst van de Wetering

Paperback(First Edition)

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Even during the artist’s lifetime, contemporary art lovers considered Rembrandt van Rijn to be an exceptional artist. In this revelatory sequel to the acclaimed Rembrandt: The Painter at Work, renowned Rembrandt authority Ernst van de Wetering investigates precisely why the artist, from a very early age, was praised by prominent connoisseurs. He argues that Rembrandt, from his very first endeavors in painting, embarked on a journey past all the foundations of the art of painting that, according to (up until now misinterpreted) contemporary written sources, were considered essential in the seventeenth century. Rembrandt never stopped searching for solutions to the pictorial problems that confronted him; this led over time to radical changes in course that can’t simply be attributed to stylistic evolution or natural development. In a quest as rigorous and novel as the artist’s, van de Wetering reveals how Rembrandt became the best painter the world had ever seen. Gorgeously illustrated throughout, this groundbreaking exploration reconstructs Rembrandt’s closely guarded theories and methods, shedding new light both on the artist’s exceptional accomplishments and on the practice of painting in the Dutch Golden Age.

Published in association with Amsterdam University Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520290259
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 04/18/2016
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ernst van de Wetering is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Amsterdam and Chairman of the Rembrandt Research Project. The author of the widely acclaimed Rembrandt: The Painter at Work, he is considered one of the world’s foremost specialists on Rembrandt and his oeuvre.

Table of Contents

Concerning this book: its illustrations,
notes, references and appendices

Profession: painter
Painters in all shapes and sizes
Training as a painter
Training methods
The internships and journeymen
Oil paint
The busy workshop
The guild and the emancipation of the painter
Rembrandt and the guild
Art-lovers and connoisseurs
Rembrandt’s satire on art criticism
Painters as socially unconventional free spirits
Painting and payment; Rembrandt’s prices
The reading painter

Towards a reconstruction of Rembrandt’s art theory
An advantage of creating small-scale history paintings
The basic aspects (de Gronden) of the art of painting
From Van Mander – via Rembrandt –to Van Hoogstraten
Confusion over the meaning and purpose of Van Mander’s and Van Hoogstraten’s treatises
Miedema’s Grondt
Remarks on the pedagogical purpose of Van Hoogstraten’s treatise
Weststeijn’s Inleyding
The Gronden, Section 1:
The Gronden, Section 2:
The proportions of the human body
The Gronden, Section 3:
The comportment, posture, and
movement of the human figure
The Gronden, Section 4:
Ordonnance and Invention
The Gronden, Section 5:
The Gronden, Section 6:
Light and shadow
The Gronden, Section 7:
The Gronden, Section 8:
Livestock, (wild) animals, and birds
The Gronden, Section 9:
Drapery and dress
The Gronden, Section 10:
The Gronden, Section 11:
Handling of the brush
The Gronden, Section 12:
Towards a reconstruction of
Rembrandt’s art theory: Conclusion

Rembrandt as a searching artist Windows on the past
A driven searcher
The rules of art and the ‘classicistic criticism’ of Rembrandt
Rembrandt among intellectual art-lovers
Virtual conversations with Constantijn Huygens
Progress in art?
Rembrandt’s goal
The picturesque quality of ugliness
Rembrandt’s duel – via Rubens – with the Ancients
Rembrandt after 1650: a different painter with similar goals and new means
Conclusion of Part III
Rembrandt. The man

Appendix A
The function and meaning of Rembrandt’s self-portraits
Appendix B
A Summary of Ernst van de Wetering,Rembrandt. The Painter at Work
Appendix C
The course of Rembrandt’s life as a painter, including a Chronological List
of Rembrandt’s Works Reproduced in this Book


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