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February 2015

Vol. 157 | No. 1343

Northern European Art

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Editorial

The Rembrandt Research Project and its denouement

The publication of volume five of A Corpus of Rembrandt’s Paintings drew a line under the original intentions of the ­Rembrandt Research Project (RRP), leaving a substantial body of paintings uncatalogued. This included the large history paintings, the portraits (apart from self-portraits) and the landscapes, all painted after 1642, amounting to some one hundred works, or about a quarter of his accepted œuvre. Students of the artist were left to take what comfort they could from Robert Louis Stevenson’s dictum that ‘to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, the true ­success is to labour’. And labour, as even the harshest critics of the RRP would agree, the various authors most certainly did. But with the recent publication of Ernst van de Wetering’s Rembrandt’s Paintings Revisited: A Complete Survey all is not lost. Corpus VI, as it is also known, can best, if prosaically, be described as a mopping-up operation, devoted to completion and revision and a good deal more. But, in view of the nature of the publication, the previously uncatalogued paintings cannot be treated to the ‘full monty’ in the manner of the existing volumes.

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Late Rembrandt

Rembrandt’s late works are justly regarded as one of the summits of Western art, and the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to them – first shown at the National Gallery, London (closed 18th January), and soon to be transferred and enlarged at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (12th February to 17th May) – does not disappoint. Included in it are more than ninety paintings, drawings and etchings spanning the last two decades of the artist’s career with a predictably generous selection of works from the two host museums and spectacular loans from Stockholm, Washington, Kassel and Braunschweig, although (alas) none from Russia, nor any paintings from New York. Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated catalogue consisting of ­fourteen essays of variable distinction but no catalogue entries.1 As a work of reference and scholarship this pales beside the monumental volumes that accompanied the great Rembrandt exhibition mounted by these same museums with Berlin in 1991–92, which are still indispensable. Instead, what we are offered now is a substantial souvenir of a truly remarkable exhibition that fully warranted a more enduring publication, although a scholarly supplement on the exhibited works is available online.

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  • The Ghent Altarpiece: new thoughts on its original display

    By Griet Steyaert
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  • Rembrandt’s ‘Parable of the workers in the vineyard’

    By Richard Verdi
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  • The theme of wise counsel in Amsterdam’s former town hall

    By Katharine Fremantle
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  • A newly discovered letter to Arnold Houbraken on the life of Paulus Potter

    By Quentin Buvelot
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  • A study by Vilhelm Hammershøi acquired by Museum ­Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

    By Sjarel Ex
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  • The Ghent Altarpiece by the Brothers Van Eyck. History and Appraisal, S. Kemperdick and J. Rössler, eds

    By Jan Piet Filedt Kok
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  • Hieronymus Bosch. The Complete Works, S. Fischer

    By Walter S. Gibson
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  • De erfenis van Rogier van der Weyden. Schilderkunst in Brussel, 1450–1520, V. Bücken and G. Steyaert

    By Jan Piet Filedt Kok
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  • Reframing Albrecht Dürer: The Appropriation of Art, 1528–1700, A. Bubenik

    By Tico Seifert
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  • National Gallery Catalogues. The Sixteenth Century Netherlandish Paintings with French Paintings Before 1600, L. Campbell

    By Maryan W. Ainsworth
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  • Antwerp Art after Iconoclasm. Experiments in Decorum 1566–1585, K. Jonckheere

    By Hilbert Lootsma
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  • The paintings of Hendrick Goltzius 1558–1617: a monograph and catalogue raisonné, L.W. Nichols

    By Peter Hecht
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  • Frans Hals, S. Slive

    By Dennis P. Weller
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  • The Paintings of Dirck van Baburen, ca.1592/3–1624. ­Catalogue Raisonné, W. Franits

    By John Gash
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  • Adam von Bartsch (1757–1821). Leben und Werk des Wiener Kunsthistorikers und Kupferstechers unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner Reproduktionsgraphik nach Handzeichnungen, R. Rieger

    By F. Carlo Schmid
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  • Le Mythe du Retour. Les artistes scandinaves en France de 1889 à 1908, V. Röstrop

    By Richard Thomson
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  • Late Rembrandt

    By Richard Verdi
  • Russian avant-garde theatre

    By Christina Lodder
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  • Egon Schiele

    By Elizabeth Clegg
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  • Allen Jones

    By James Cahill
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  • Rubens and his legacy

    By Christopher Brown
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  • Emotion in seventeenth-century Dutch painting

    By Xander van Eck
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  • Sonia and Robert Delaunay

    By Chris Michaelides
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  • Bernardo Bellotto

    By Richard Stemp
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  • Segantini

    By Simonetta Fraquelli
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  • Titian’s mythologies

    By Peter Humfrey
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  • Tanzio da Varallo

    By Helen Langdon
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  • Renaissance sculptors’ drawings

    By Andrew Butterfield
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  • Victorian sculpture

    By Mark Stocker
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  • Clyfford Still

    By Edward Dimendberg
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  • Mr Turner

    By Richard Green
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