Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes: The Web Conference


Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes: The Web Conference

24 January 2022 (8 p.m. Moscow time)
31 January 2022 (8 p.m. Moscow time)
7 February 2022 (8 p.m. Moscow time)
14 February 2022 (8 p.m. Moscow time)

From 19 October 2022 through 15 January 2023 the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow is presenting an exhibition on the meaning of Rembrandt to Jews. With the Jews in his city of Amsterdam Rembrandt had contact of various professional and personal kinds, which will be evoked in a reconstruction of his neighborhood. He painted and etched portraits of Jewish sitters, used Jews as models for face studies and put Jewish figures into genre scenes and Bible compositions. Jews in Amsterdam and elsewhere soon began to see Rembrandt in a different light than other artists. His portrait etchings became models for images of rabbis. Female figures by him began to be called Jewish brides.

In the nineteenth century there was an intensification of the perceived link between Rembrandt and the Jews. He was seen as sympathetic toward the Jews, in a time when this was far from common. To European Jews, including wealthy art collectors, this made him the object of special admiration; to anti-Semites it brought him a measure of disdain. Responding to both these effects, Rembrandt was embraced by generation after generation of Jewish artists, who identified with him in their art and in their lives.

These themes and more will be explored and displayed in the exhibition, whose guest curators are Gary Schwartz and Mirjam Knotter. In preparation for it, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center has organized a series of lectures on the subject of the exhibition. They will be presented online in four sessions of three half-hour lectures each, on successive Mondays starting on 24 January 2022.

Moderator for all sessions: Gary Schwartz

The Program

24 January



31 January



7 February



14 February (the talks will be given in Russian with simultaneous translation into English)





All sessions will begin at

20:00 Moscow time, which is
19:00 in Israel
18:00 in continental Western Europe
17:00 in the United Kingdom
12:00 on the North American east coast
09:00 on the west coast

[These are corrected times. In the initial posting the hours for Western Europe and North America were an hour too late.]

Admission is free. In order to receive Zoom links for all sessions,

Register here


401 My ten favorite Rembrandt self-portraits

Earlier this year, the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad asked me for an interview in which I would reveal, in order from 10 to 1, what my favorite ten Rembrandt self-portraits are. Instead of talking to the editor, Arjen Ribbens, I wrote up my preferences in an illustrated column, in English. I put them in chronological order, but that worked out all right, because my number 1 was indeed the latest. Ribbens translated a pared-down version, made it look more like an interview and published it in the issue of 6 November 2021. For the Schwartzlist, here is the English original.

Continue reading “401 My ten favorite Rembrandt self-portraits”

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”

399 With apologies to Alart – his missing double spread

Missing pages from Schwartz’s book on Jheronimus Bosch of 2016. The artist in Den Bosch closest to the master himself was the protean Alart du Hameel. A column to make up for leaving him out. Continue reading “399 With apologies to Alart – his missing double spread”

A Last Judgment to scare the hell out of you

At a symposium in Vienna devoted to Jheronimus Bosch’s Last Judgment in the Paintings Gallery of the Akademie der bildenden Künste, I presented a paper that was published only a few months later (hats off to Julia Neuhaus and her staff ) in a volume of proceedings. It was dedicated to the memory of Roger Marijnissen, who died earlier that year, in January 2019, at the age of 95.

Gary Schwartz, “A Last Judgment to scare the hell out of you,” in Hieronymus Boschs Weltgerichts-Triptychon in seiner Zeit: Publikation zur gleichnamigen internationalen Konferenz vom 21. bis 23. November 2019 in der Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien | Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment Triptych in the 1500s: Publication of the proceedings of the international conference held from 21 – 23 November 2019 in the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna (Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste) 2020, pp. 149-67

PDF of Gary Schwartz, A Last Judgment to scare the hell out of you

Because it was not possible to place all the illustrations I wanted, the depictions of the Vision of Tundale by followers or copyists of Bosch had to be left out. I added them separately at Visions of Tondal in Bosch mode.