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!
A pretty critical review of Svetlana Alpers’s book Rembrandt’s enterprise: the studio and the market, Chicago (University of Chicago Press) 1988, published in Art in America 76, nr. 11 (November 1988), pp. 25-29
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!
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.
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.)
“‘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.
Pondering an old, bitter debate, Schwartz puts together some previously unconnected pieces. In one year, 1654, Rembrandt painted two bathing women who make you think of sex, both of whom have been linked to models in classical antiquity. Leading to a daring conclusion.
Translation: Increase or decrease [the number of paintings by Vermeer, whose name is baked into the Dutch word for increasing.] My oldest and dearest friend in the Netherlands, Albert Blankert, died last Tuesday. I am channeling and seconding his inspired take on a current Vermeer dispute.
The exhibition at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow on which I have been working for five years with Mirjam Knotter of the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam. “Rembrandt seen through Jewish eyes,” has been postponed indefinitely. Still, I have to submit text for the Russian-language catalogue that was going to be printed. Here are fragments from the section “Jewish artists discover Rembrandt.”
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.