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!
Continue reading “417 The transparent connoisseur 7: Explaining away Early Netherlandish discrepancies”
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”
A sequence of fortunate circumstances put Schwartz and his Loekie into one artistically rich environment after another.Sheer non-committal enjoyment, giving birth to reactions he does not have to defend in the court of art-historical responsibility.
Continue reading “415 Some stray observations”
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”
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.
Continue reading “413 Gazing through King David’s eyes at irresistible beauty”
Nearly forty years after his death, Abner Schram, the U.S. distributor of the books Schwartz published from 1971 to 1988, continues to impose his overbearing, endearing self on Schwartz. To bring him back and perhaps to lay his ghost, he tells about the man and publishes their complete correspondence. Continue reading “412 Remembering Abner Schram”
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.
Continue reading “411 Vermeeren of verminderen: in memory of Albert Blankert”
Schwartz thought that his love for art in museums was strong enough to assure his enjoyment of museums, even while acknowledging that they removed art from its original locations and contexts. Last month he took a shock to the system, in Venice. For Doeschka and Bernard.
Continue reading “410 Ceci n’est pas une peinture”
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.”
Continue reading “409 “I’m certain Rembrandt loves me””
Do you feel kin to people who lived in your house in the past? Schwartz indulges in the exercise, finding out that he is the successor to members of an intertwined Sephardi clan of jewelers and merchants in diamonds and pearls, members of which were Rembrandt’s next-door neighbors, while another commissioned a staggering Antwerp painting he has studied.
Continue reading “408 The iconophile Sephardi in me”