Friday, February 4, 2011

!00 artists that a painter should know, subchapter 8

17) self portrait Rembrandt 1606-1669

Rembrandt was an astounding painter. I could have chosen a lot of different paintings for this post but I tried to get a few that were typical and I also felt I ought to include the famed
.He had a grand house on the canal in Amsterdam, the enormous mortgage on which was a crushing burden to him. Her made and squandered fortunes on antiques and relics. He Had many important students and was a great influence Dutch painting.

18) The Nightwatch 11 by 14 feet. The painting was called the Nightwatch not because that was what Rembrandt named it, but because it's varnish was so aged and discolored that it was thought to be a night scene. It was cleaned in modern times and no longer looks so murky. In 1975 the painting was attacked by an unemployed school teacher ,who used a knife to slash the picture. It was restored and the teacher committed suicide. Bye-bye.

19) Girl at a window A tender and radiant portrait. Rembrandt could show the range of emotion and handled religious themes, charming genre pictures and earthy and ribald subjects equally well, sometimes in the same picture.

20) Descent from the cross. Titian was a great influence on Rembrandt, there are threads of influence running through all the great painters from on generation to the next. I have a big book with perhaps six hundred Rembrandt paintings in it. About half of them are no longer thought to be by Rembrandt though. It is hard to know, he painted in a number of different styles. He had students who imitated him and their work has often been supposed to be his. There will probably never be an absolute agreement on the actual authorship of some of his paintings.

I went many times to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and one of my favorite paintings there was, The storm on the sea of Galilee. In 1990 thieves disguised as police officers stole this and a number of other extremely important paintings, including a Vermeer. This, the biggest art heist in American history has never been solved.
images from


bvpainter said...

Pleased to see 'Girl at a Window'. It is in our local Dulwich Art Gallery, the oldest public art gallery in the world, along side many other great masterpieces.

Benjamin Mills said...

I went down to Dulwich for the first time a couple of days ago- 'Girl at a Window' is a gorgeous painting.
The Rockwell exhibition they have on at present is brilliant too.

Philip Koch said...

Thanks for the Rembrandts. It's a very fine way to begin my day. And the selection shows his remarkable range of accomplishments.

While I'm glad not everyone painting today is trying to make paintings that look just like his, I can't imagine a world with Rembrandt in it. He's a huge mountain in the landscape of art.

Bob Mrotek said...

I became a fan of Rembrandt when I visited the Art Institute of Chicago as a young lad and saw one of his paintings called "Officer with a Gold Chain" up close and I was blown away. I will never forget that moment.

Carol said...

Beautiful work. I have never seen Girl at a Window before. Thanks for sharing pics and info.

Unknown said...

I love it that REmbrandt painted so many self portraits through the years, that we recognize his face as well as his paintings. I feel like I know him. I was just struck that he died at age 63.. only a few years older than me. wow.

billspaintingmn said...

Years ago a friend of mine "drove truck" down in Florida. He came across a painting he was curious about. He brought it over for me to see.
It was brilliant! I called a friend
that had reputation for knowing alot about art history.
All this happened on Thanksgiving day.
Our wives were upset because we spent a good part of the day in the studio, looking and talking about this painting.
At the top of the painting the name Rembrandt was clearly visable!

Enter Richard Lack!

This painting was painted on wood not canvas. In the lower section of the painting was a small signature Jerrard Dow.
Turns out this was a student of Rembrandts. Artistically more popular in his time than Rembrandt,
or so we were told.
Several offers to buy this were declined. My friend took it else where to have proffesionals have at it.
Yes it was authentic. The artist was a student of Rembrandts, and was customary to sign it the way it was.
He sold it at auction and they needed two dump trucks to deliver all the loot that was spent to obtain it.
True story,(except for the dump trucks.)
I would have kept the painting, it was a beautiful girl holding a candle. The light was luminous. It was magical.
How do you like them apples!? :)

Stapleton Kearns said...

Someday I will come and see it!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Does Rockwell work on the British. He is SO American?

Stapleton Kearns said...

David Lefell seems to be an exponent of the Rembrandt style working today.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I borrowed a Rembrandt book from my mother when I was a child and I still have it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are welcome.

Stapleton Kearns said...

People didn't live as long then, he was probably thought of as an old man.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I missed how Richard Lack fits into the story.

billspaintingmn said...

Stape! Richard Lack was the person that knew Jerrard Dow was a student
of Rembrandt. Also that it was customary for the name Rembrandt to be signed boldly at the top of the painting while the students signature was small at the bottom.
We, (myself and my friend) thought it was an actual Rembrandt.Richard
was interested in buying this piece of art.(If it wasn't two truck loads of moola)

Benjamin Mills said...


Regarding Rockwell, I know there are art critics over here who sneer at him for his sentimentality and such, but I for one find it very difficult not to be taken in by the America he portrays, and the insight it gives into the aspirations and culture of the US of the period.

And the exhibition was certainly busy when I went!

I'm really enjoying this series of posts- thanks a lot for 'em.