Historical Research of Art: But Rembrandt – Knowing

Thirteen of Rembrandt’s landscape paintings are documented, according to Gary Schwartz, one of the best experts on the complete works of the Amsterdam master, in “Rembrandt’s Book”, but only five “exist”. The numbers may have been correct when they were printed in 2006, but not now.

Not that Rembrandt’s paintings were suddenly discovered in mysterious attics. No, it is the present-day paintings that constitute a mystery, almost once painted, and works by Rembrandt have always been indistinguishable from those of his workshop.

This also affects the gallery of pictures at the Berlin State Museums. In 1986 she had to separate the audience’s undisputed darling, “The Man in the Golden Helmet”, as a workshop job.

The same fate befell the 1989 “Landscape with the Arched Bridge”, a small-scale work measuring approximately 30 x 40 cm by Wilhelm von Bode, the legendary “Public Museum” and Rembrandt expert, in 1924 thus eventually winning decades of his work in Berlin Museums. Because of the bad times of that time, it was not possible to pay for the picture with money, but only for other works in the gallery.

He was missing the landscape to complete the Berlin set. And Rembrandt painted only a few landscapes within his works, which, according to variable counts, sometimes include 250 and sometimes 637.

In 1989, the board failed the Rembrandt Research Project review

The ‘variable number’ is more important to Rembrandt than any other artist of his rank. Born in Leiden in 1606 and died in Amsterdam in 1669, Rembrandt van Rijn was a very diligent artist for more than four decades, as more than 1,000 surviving drawings and 300 engravings attest.

But he didn’t always sign the plates. In keeping with the times, he maintained a commission processing workshop and repeated his compositions. The best students in particular were able to sympathize almost completely with Rembrandt’s style of painting.

There is such a double scene of Berlin, the “Stone Bridge” in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, which is very similar in shape. there was no doubt the authorship of mr. Not even when the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP), launched over 50 years ago, passed through all the museums I thought they held works by the artist and omitted from Rembrandt’s collection of assets, picture by picture.

“Landscape with Arch Bridge” is currently shown in the special exhibition “David Hockney – Landscapes in Dialogue” at …Photo: Monika Skolimowska / dpa

[Lesen Sie auch unseren Bericht über die Hockney-Ausstellung in der Berliner Gemäldegalerie: Kronen von Yorkshire]

This is the case when strong arguments against it emerge above all upon closer scientific investigation. Rembrandt’s work has been reduced to fewer than 250 RRP-authorized paintings, and at the same time increased to a good 350 due to reassignment.

The RRP’s arguments also cast doubt on Berlin’s image. Here the sky is calmer and tighter than in Amsterdam, where finely scaled drama creates such an eerie mood that Rembrandt’s portraits seem forever calm and automatically sexy at the same time. This difference seems to refer to a pupil of Rembrandt Govert Flink, to whom the picture was attributed in 1989.

Rembrandt dramatically changed the original composition

For years, restorer Claudia Lorenz Landsberg has worked on the Rembrandt Collection in the Gallery. With the participation of the Hahn-Meitner Institute, she was able for the first time to use the complex technology of neutron autoradiography, which has already presented significant results for the anniversary exhibition of Rembrandt in Berlin in 2006.

Landscaping was not considered at the time because it was considered a workshop work. Now Katja Kleinert, the Dutch curator, has directed it and, together with the restorer, has deciphered the structure of the painting.

In accordance with this, Rembrandt obviously altered the original composition, as can be seen from the lower drawing, in the manner which he perceived in the Amsterdam doubling, so to speak, at once, which is likely to be considered altered. A dendrochronological examination of the wooden portrait carrier showed that the Berlin work could have been painted as early as 1622, but the Amsterdam work not earlier than 1638. This is the year the Rijksmuseum lists his paintings which are also likely to be hypothesized. Berlin picture.

A little landscape, but it was setting the style

And here comes the role of the ancient “method criticism” once again. Schwartz verdict in 2006: “Traditional methods of tasting ensure the persistence of disagreement and uncertainty.” But tasting is now experiencing a real renaissance, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries.

Of course, one can endlessly debate whether the strokes are Rembrandt or not; Basically idle with this artist, who had all the means at his disposal and who created an enormous variety.

It is amazing that Rembrandt painted only some landscapes. However, they were components of Dutch painting after that. With its illumination, it directs the viewer’s gaze without emphasizing anything special. In both the Berlin and Amsterdam photos, ‘Steinbrücke’ tends to stay in the dark, while the tree and plants to its right brighten dramatically in sunlight penetrating from the left under a storm cloud and heading to the right. Schwartz praises the composition as a “painting that trembles with liveliness”: one can express it in this way and thus approach the sensual impact of a Berlin painting.

With this masterpiece, Rembrandt’s collection in Berlin has again grown to 20 paintings, and it is more understandable why Bode spent his entire life chasing Rembrandt’s landscapes.

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