A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings: Volume 5: Small-Scale History Paintings.
This is the fifth volume of A CORPUS OF REMBRANDT PAINTINGS, which will consist of six volumes in total. The CORPUS is dedicated to the painted works of Rembrandt. It aims to isolate Rembrandt’s own works from the great volume of Rembrandt-like paintings, produced by his many pupils and followers, sometimes with the involvement of the master himself. The fourth volume (Springer 2005) was dedicated to Rembrandt’s self-portraits. This fifth volume is about the small-scale history and genre paintings. The so-called ‘histories’ (paintings, etchings and drawings with biblical or mythological scenes) were considered to be the most challenging assignments for an artist. All kinds of artistic insights and skills – known in Rembrandt’s time as the basic aspects of the art of painting - played a role in the creation of this kind of work, especially in the history paintings. Systematic research into this hitherto little known area has revealed a rich, and often fresh understanding of Rembrandt’s own way of thinking about these basic aspects, which makes the present volume a unique and innovative contribution to the history of art. A detailed comparison of Rembrandt’s own work with that of his pupils has furthermore provided a detailed access to Rembrandt’s own criteria regarding artistic quality.