427 Rembrandt’s jottings – and a Spinoza invitation

A piece of forgotten Rembrandt research exercises a perverse fascination on Schwartz. He passes it on to you, along with an announcement of a Spinoza symposium on 16 May in Amsterdam. Continue reading “427 Rembrandt’s jottings – and a Spinoza invitation”

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.


Continue reading “425 Do you doff your turban for the pope?”

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”

 

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!

Continue reading “420 A stolen Rembrandt in Dayton, Ohio”

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.

Continue reading “416 The Vermeer exhibitions of 1935”

414 Rembrandt – Vermeer: a centennial scorecard

Research on one topic (Vermeer exhibitions) put Schwartz on the track of another (historical Rembrandt numbers). This year is the 100th anniversary of the publication, in 1923, of the most extreme highs and lows known to man for the count of paintings by Rembrandt. (Click on images to enlarge them.)

Continue reading “414 Rembrandt – Vermeer: a centennial scorecard”

“Though deficient in beauty”: a documentary history and interpretation of Rembrandt’s 1654 painting of Bathsheba

“‘Though deficient in beauty’: a documentary history and interpretation of Rembrandt’s 1654 painting of Bathsheba,” in: Rembrandt’s Bathsheba reading King David’s letter, ed. Ann Jensen Adams, Cambridge, England (Cambridge University Press) 1998, pp. 176-203

For a volume on Rembrandt’s Bathsheba in the Cambridge University Press series Masterpieces of Western painting, edited by Ann Adams, I contributed an essay on the provenance and critical history of the painting, ending with an interpretation of my own.

Schwartz 1998 Though deficient in beauty – Bathsheba

407 The Rembrandt virus, the Syndics variant

Never would I ask you to pity the poor Rembrandt specialist. I regret not a moment of the years I have put into studying him. But besides the outreach of my publications and lectures, there is also inreach, which can be challenging. Read about the biggest painting I have ever been called upon to certify as a Rembrandt.

Continue reading “407 The Rembrandt virus, the Syndics variant”

400 Rembrandt in the garbage

Half a year ago I missed an anniversary. 10 May 2021 was 25 years to the day since the appearance of the pilot of the Schwartzlist. It was an article in the Cultural Supplement of the daily NRC Handelsblad, with the title “Rembrandt bij het grofvuil” (Rembrandt in the garbage). On the basis of that publication, the newspaper offered me a bi-weekly column for a year. I wrote the columns in English, to be translated into Dutch by the paper. Starting with the first of the columns, “Vermeers razernij” (Vermeer’s frenzy), on the 5th of July 1996, I mailed the English version to my 50 or so email correspondents of the time. For the milestone installment 400, I am publishing the pilot. Continue reading “400 Rembrandt in the garbage”