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
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.
"...dedicated art lovers will also enjoy this volume and will find a great deal of fascinating reading material."—George Erdosh San Diego Book Review
Praise for van de Wetering's Rembrandt: The Painter at Work
“Who would not have wanted to look over Rembrandt’s shoulder while he painted? Among the countless books on Rembrandt, that by Ernst van de Wetering comes closest to conveying something of this experience.” —Ernst Gombrich, author of The Story of Art
“No one attempting to write about Rembrandt in the future will be able to do so without taking this fine work into account.” —Simon Schama, author of The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age
“This is a very rich book, a deeply felt analysis of an artist whom the author knows better than almost any other living scholar.” —Times Literary Supplement