This afternoon I had a query from my dear friend Anja Ševčík of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum concerning the iconography of a painting by Geldorp Gortzius of the Madonna and child with St. Anne. Rather than delving instantly into her case, I was inspired to post a salacious column on the subject that I wrote in 2003. When it appeared in the Financieele Dagblad there were incensed reactions from Christians who maintain a sanitized view of their god’s congress with a married Jewish virgin and her mother. Continue reading “188 Sex with God: for Leo Steinberg”
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.
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”
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”
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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
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.
On the authority of Rembrandt himself, here is a listing of paintings by him that today are mainly unknown. Readers are invited to discover them.
Gabriel Metsu’s Sick child in the Rijksmuseum is the poster boy of domesticism in Dutch art. What could be more touching? Schwartz thinks it was also meant to move the viewer in other ways than as an image of maternal care. He thinks he can identify the pathetic little boy as a personification of a high office leading an ailing existence. Continue reading “397 Gabriel Metsu’s Sick child – of state?”
On popular demand, Schwartz returns to the vexed question of Rembrandt’s character. A new article disputes the archival basis for Machiel Bosman’s aggressive defense of Rembrandt as a man driven by love of family to bankrupt himself.
“From the word go, admiration for Rembrandt has was offset by annoyances and uncertainties of various kinds.” Thoughts on the matter as published in the Rembrandt Year volume of The Low Countries, 14 (2006), pp. 221-26