302 Did Rembrandt really not use drawings for his paintings and etchings?

Prevailing opinion has it that Rembrandt drew far fewer drawings than the 1500 in the standard catalogue of Otto Benesch, and that he almost never used drawings to prepare his compositions. Schwartz posits the opposite: that Rembrandt drew far more than 1500 drawings and that it was his normal practice to use drawings – most of them now lost – in the preparation of his etchings and paintings. Continue reading “302 Did Rembrandt really not use drawings for his paintings and etchings?”

299 Rembrandt and I in Oman

The first exhibition on the Arabian peninsula of original work by Rembrandt took place in Muscat, Oman, from 19 August to 19 September 2009. Schwartz made a brief film on Rembrandt and Amsterdam to introduce the master to the Omanis. He attended the opening and the first week of the show. His impressions.


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297 Art for Ronni Baer’s grandchildren

Is it more harmful for a museum item to be crated and shipped off to a loan exhibition or left hanging in its own gallery or storage facility? Do we see the scars of damage once they have been repaired? Schwartz answers these questions as he takes leave of CODART, the network organization for museum curators of Dutch and Flemish art he thought up and worked for for 12 years.


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294 L’art, c’est moi

There are times when the behavior of an artist or a museum can fill you with disgust. Covered by the kneejerk respect for art displayed by society, they betray artistic and moral principles that you try to live by. What if anything do you do about it? Schwartz wrestles uncomfortably with the problem.


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291 Image of the beautiful black

One in so many Western works of art contains an image of a person we would call black. The phenomenon attracts relatively little attention in art history. The Menil Foundation went after it seriously, in a project now inherited by the Warburg Institute. An exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam offers a sanitized view of the black in Dutch and Flemish art.


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287 Volume I

The Rijksmuseum has published the first volume in a series of scholarly catalogues of its collection of Dutch paintings of the 17th century. The two books, one of text and comparative illustrations, the other of color plates, are not only a model of collection catalogues, they are also an unguarded kaleidoscopic self-portrait of Dutch society in the early years of the Republic. Schwartz is lyrical.


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284 Being where?

The exhibitions that take place in Kassel every five years (initially four) since 1955 under the name documenta have a powerful founding myth. They were initiated in response to two forms of totalitarianism: they rehabilitated German artists who had been banned by the Nazis as “degenerate” and they showed up the repressive cultural policies of Communism by flaunting daring Free World art. A powerful myth indeed, but is it true? The yeses and the nos.


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