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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423 Rembrandt seen through Jewish eyes – the book and a last-minute invitation to its launching

Twelve essays on the theme of Rembrandt seen through Jewish eyes are coming out in a book edited by Schwartz and Mirjam Knotter of the Jewish Museum, Amsterdam. You are invited to the launching on 14 December at the museum.

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421 Fleishig and Altstad in the news

With a helping of author’s vanity, Schwartz claims to have foreseen, in two passages from his novel Bets and scams, some things from today’s news. Below the line, he wrestles with his reactions to the ongoing tragedy in Israel and Gaza.


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420 A stolen Rembrandt in Dayton, Ohio

In the night of 9/10 April 1921 a Rembrandt self-portrait was stolen from the museum in Weimar, Germany, with three other paintings. Three of the four resurfaced on 3 August 1945 in Dayton, when an Ohio woman married to a German-American immigrant brought them to the director of the Dayton Art Institute. This did not become known to the public until 10 February 1947, after the paintings had been removed from the ownership of the couple. The documentation stunned Schwartz and will stun you!

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418 Naaman the leper and Elisha his healer: the trailer (in memory of Magdi Tóth)

On 1 July I will be lecturing (in Dutch) at the Hermitage Museum Amsterdam on a painting from the current exhibition, Rembrandt and his contemporaries: History paintings from The Leiden Collection. The painting is a depiction of the prophet Elisha declining to accept the gifts of the Syrian army commander Naaman, offered in thanks for curing his leprosy. Here is a preview, the part about leprosy. Seating still available.

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417 The transparent connoisseur 7: Explaining away Early Netherlandish discrepancies

On Monday, 8 May, in Berlin, Schwartz heard a top connoisseur account for differences in finish between two paintings by Hugo van der Goes as acceptable variations within a single artistic personality, and on 12 May, in Den Bosch, heard another top connoisseur denying the very possibility of such a thing concerning two paintings by Jheronimus Bosch. What a week!


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416 The Vermeer exhibitions of 1935

The current Vermeer exhibition in the Rijksmuseum is the second one ever to be held there. The first took place in 1935. For the 114 days that the present exhibition is running, the Rijksmuseum is admitting 450,000 visitors, about 4,000 a day. Some people, like me, find it too crowded. The 1935 exhibition was on view for only 13 days, and drew 123,000 visitors, about nine and a half thousand a day. Another reason to be glad that I hadn’t been born yet.

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