425 Do you doff your turban for the pope?

The book about which I have been telling you for years now, Rembrandt seen through Jewish eyes: the artist’s meaning to Jews from his time to ours, edited by Mirjam Knotter and myself, has been published by Amsterdam University Press and is available in hardback for €39.99 or as an e-book in Open Access for free.


This column owes its inception to a rare and precious happening. A young colleague discovered something I had missed in an article of 2013, and she sent it to me to publish. Back to Robert Sherley in Rome. Thank you, Günay Heydərli.


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424 The transparent connoisseur 8: An ill-judged attribution in Den Bosch

A Dutch museum features a fascinating painting of the art of painting itself, in the guise of a woman artist at the easel. The museum ignores overwhelming evidence for its origins in a collaboration between Jan Brueghel I and Frans Francken II and wrongheadedly gives it to Jan Brueghel II.


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Lady Pictura painting flowers

“Lady Pictura painting flowers,” Tableau 15 (1993), nr. 6, Summer, pp. 66-81

The editors of this art magazine asked me to write about a newly discovered, exceptional kunstkamer painting. The deadline was short, but I plunged into it, telling them that I would not be able to go in search of those paintings within the painting that could not easily be identified. Fortunately, my lapses in this regard were corrected in the following issue by Edwin Buijsen.

Lady Pictura painting flowers – the painting. (A press photo from the Noordbrabants Museum, in connection with an exhibition on the Brueghel family. Credit line, with a different attribution and dating than mine: Jan Brueghel de Jonge, Allegorie op de schilderkunst, ca. 1625-1630, olieverf op koper, 49 x 77 cm. JK Art Foundation. Foto Peter Cox).

“Lady Pictura painting flowers” – the article (6.7 MB)

Edwin Buijsen, Schildersportretten in een Antwerpse kunstkamer

Comparative images that are illustrated across two pages in the magazine:

Jan Brueghel I and eleven other Antwerp painters, including Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Francken II, Allegory of sight and smell, 1618. Madrid Museo del Prado

Jan Brueghel I and Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of sight, 1617. Madrid, Museo del Prado

Click on the images to enlarge and view the delicious details.

See also Schwartzlist 408, “The Sephardi iconophile in me”

and

Schwartzlist 424, “The transparent connoisseur 8: an ill-judged attribution in Den Bosch”

 

408 The iconophile Sephardi in me

Do you feel kin to people who lived in your house in the past? Schwartz indulges in the exercise, finding out that he is the successor to members of an intertwined Sephardi clan of jewelers and merchants in diamonds and pearls, members of which were Rembrandt’s next-door neighbors, while another commissioned a staggering Antwerp painting he has studied.

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Love in the kunstkamer: additions to the work of Guillam van Haecht (1593-1637)

An exploration of the riches of beauty and meaning invested in and taken from art by Guillam van Haecht and his patron Cornelis van der Geest. Published in the Dutch art magazine Tableau, the summer issue of 1996, pp. 43-52.

LoveInTheKunstkamerTableauSummer1996

403 Good Jews and bad Jews in 1620 and 1630

On four successive Mondays, from 21 January to 14 February, I moderated a webinar on the theme “Rembrandt seen through Jewish eyes,” in preparation for an exhibition of that name in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. One point of disagreement among the speakers was how welcoming the Netherlands was to Jewish immigrants. I felt that some speakers had too rose-colored an impression of things, for which I bring the following heavy evidence to bear.

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393 The transparent connoisseur 6: Johnny One Work

There are nearly one-and-a-half times as many recorded Dutch painters of the seventeenth century by whom not a single work is known than masters with an identified oeuvre. And then there are those by whom we know only one really good painting. Where did their lost paintings go? Lots were thrown away, but others, Schwartz argues, are catalogued under well-known names. This subverts one of the basic assumptions of the connoisseur’s attribution.
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390 What did Rembrandt have against spires?

Rembrandt suffered from a rare condition that has not yet been diagnosed. He had an aversion to spires and sometimes to towers, lopping them off his depictions of buildings we know to have had them. Schwartz worries the issue.

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