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New & Forthcoming Titles | A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings - Volumes I-VI

A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings

Volumes I-VI

Series: Rembrandt Research Project Foundation, Complete work

Bruyn, J., Haak, J., Levie, S.H., Thiel, P.J.J., van de Wetering, E.

2015, Approx. 4800 p. 3000 illus., 2000 illus. in color. 6 volume-set.


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  • Gives the art world a new, comprehensive and excellent standard reference work
  • Provides valuable insight into the genesis and condition of Rembrandt’s paintings
  • Will serve the community of art historians for the nearby and long future
  • Belongs in the library of every serious art historical institute, university and museum
  • Provides detailed access to Rembrandt’s own criteria regarding artistic quality
The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings is dedicated to the painted works of Rembrandt. It presents a vast amount of meticulous research on Rembrandt’s paintings covering the early years until his later years, and with a special focus on his self-portraits and small-scale history paintings. The main aim of this project was 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. As a result, the CORPUS contains examinations of the originals of all works attributed to Rembrandt; with these examinations having taken full advantage of today’s sophisticated techniques including radiography, neutron activation autoradiography, dendrochronology and paint sample analysis. Since the second half of the last century, art historians, realizing that the image of Rembrandt’s work had become blurred with time, have attempted to redefine the artist’s significance both as a source of inspiration to other artists and as a great artist in his own right. Carrying on the work started by previous generations, a group of leading Dutch art historians from the university and museum world joined forces in the late 1960s in order to study afresh the paintings usually ascribed to Rembrandt. The researchers came together in the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP). In the course of the completion of this project and the publication of the six volumes, the composition of the group of researchers changed, and at the same time, the group’s approach changed as a result of art-historical and methodological developments. The changes and developments are reflected in the break in style between volumes III and IV. The first three volumes take a historical and chronological approach. They cover Rembrandt’s early years in Leiden (1629-1631), his first years in Amsterdam (1631-1634), and finally his later years of reputation (1635-1642). The fourth and fifth volume take a thematic approach. Dedicated to Rembrandt’s self-portraits, volume IV looks at the valuation of autograph paintings, at dress and meaning in his self-portraits, and at authenticity and function. Volume V is about the small-scale history and genre paintings, an area considered to be the most challenging assignments for an artist. The volume presents the systematic research into this hitherto little known area, revealing a rich, and often fresh understanding of Rembrandt’s own way of thinking about these basic aspects. Volume VI, the set’s last volume, revisits Rembrandt’s paintings and is both a revisionary critique of the first three volumes and an independent overview. Each volume combines a number of introductory chapters with a full catalogue of all paintings for the given period or theme. In the catalogues, each painting is discussed and examined in a detailed way, comprising a descriptive, an interpretative and a documentary section.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » 17th-century paintings - Ability to recognize an artist's hand - Ability to recognize an artist's style - Art research - Connoisseurship - Criteria for authentification - Dutch Art - Dutch Master - Evidence of authenticity - Fallibility of connoisseurship - Foundation Rembrandt Research Project - RRP - Rejected Rembrandts - Rembrandt - Rembrandt Research Project - Rembrandt van Rijn - Rembrandt's followers - Rembrandt's hand - Rembrandt's painted oeuvre - Rembrandt's style - Rembrandt’s Etching - Rembrandt’s Self Portraits - Traditional connoisseurship

Table of contents 

Volume 1
I. The Stylistic Development.- II. Painting Materials and Working Methods.- III. The Documentary Value of Early Graphic Reproductions.- IV. A Descriptive Survey of the Signatures.- Biographical Information.- Catalogue.- Paintings by Rembrandt.- Tables and Indexes.- Table of Technical Reference Material.- Table of Dendrochronological Data.- Index of Paintings Catalogued in Volume I.- Present owners.- Previous owners.- Engravers.- Subjects.- Indexes of Comparative Material and Literary Sources.- Drawings and etchings by (or attributed to) Rembrandt.- Works by artists other than Rembrandt.- Literary sources.- Concordance.

Volume 2
I. Stylistic Features of the 1630S: The Portraits; J. Bruyn and E. van de Wetering.-  II. the Canvas Support; E. van de Wetering.- III. Problems of Apprenticeship and Studio Collaboration; E. van de Wetering.- IV. Patrons and Early Owners; J. Bruyn.- V. A Selection of Signatures 1632–1634; J. Bruyn.- Catalogue.- Notes on the Catalogue.- Paintings by Rembrandt.- Paintings Rembrandt’s authorship of which cannot be positively either accepted or rejected.- Paintings Rembrandt’s authorship of which cannot be accepted.- Corrigenda et Addenda to Volume I.

Volume 3
Catalogue.- Paintings by Rembrandt.- Paintings Rembrandt’s authorship of which cannot be positively either accepted or rejected.- Paintings Rembrandt’s authorship of which cannot be accepted.- Corrigenda et Addenda.- Tables and Indexes.- Table Of Technical Reference Material.- Table of dendrochronological data, including revisions for volumes I and II.- Index Of Paintings Catalogued In Volume III.- Present owners.- Previous owners.- Engravers.- Subjects.- Indexes Of Comparative Material And Literary Sources.- Drawings and etchings by (or attributed to) Rembrandt.- Works by artists other than Rembrandt.- Literary sources.- Concordance.

Volume 4
Preface: The Rembrandt Research Project.- Past, Present and Future Summary: The Genesis of this volume and a survey of its contents.- 1. By his own hand - The valuation of autograph paintings in the 17th century; J. van der Veen.- 2. Rembrandt's clothes - Dress and meaning in his self-portraits; M. den Winkel.- 3. Rembrandt's self-portraits- problems of authenticity and function; E. van de Wetering.- 4. Grounds in Rembrandt's work-shop and in paintings by his contemporaries; C.M. Groen.- Bibliographical Information 1643-1669.-  Catalogue.-  Corrigenda et Addenda.- Tables and Indexes.

Volume 5
Preface.- Bibliographical and other Abbreviations.- Essays:.- I. Towards a Reconstruction of Rembrandt’s Art Theory.- II. An Illustrated Chronological Survey of Rembrandt’s Small-Scale ‘Histories’: Paintings, Etchings and a Selection of Drawings, with Remarks on Art-Theoretical Aspects, Function and Questions of Authenticity.- III. Rembrandt’s Prototypes and Pupils’ Production of Variants.- IV. On Quality: Comparative Remarks on the Functioning of Rembrandt’s Pictorial Mind.- V. More than One Hand in Paintings by Rembrandt.- Catalogue of the Small-Scale History and Genre Paintings 1642-1669 by Rembrandt and his Pupils.- Corrigenda et Addenda.- Indexes.

Volume 6
Preface.- 1. History of the Research into Rembrandt’s Paintings 1870 – 2010.- 2. What is a Non-Rembrandt?- 3. Research Methods and Criteria.- Lists and Tables.- Literature.


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