29 december

‘Did Rembrandt read the Bible?’ by Rembrandt expert Gary Schwartz

Looking at Rembrandt’s early pictures of stories from the Bible makes you wonder what he was really depicting. This troubling question comes to mind looking at his images of the famous Bible story of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch by the deacon Philip. A painting of that subject emanating from Rembrandt’s workshop will be shown for the first time in Museum De Lakenhal during Young Rembrandt – Rising Star. As it turns out, neither Rembrandt nor any other Dutch painter of the seventeenth century followed the text literally in their pictures of that event. We will look at other iconographies to follow Rembrandt’s train of thought in his take on the Bible. Everyday convention, pictorial tradition, angelic apparitions, and in the case of the baptism of the eunuch, Erasmus’s popular paraphrase of the book of Acts, all infused by Rembrandt’s unique imagination, turn out to be more important to him than the Bible itself.

The price for this talk is €2,50 per person, entrance to the exhibition not included.

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About Gary Schwartz:

Gary Schwartz (New York, 1940) moved to the Netherlands in 1965. Having chosen not to pursue an academic career, Schwartz worked in other capacities in the field of art history. As an editor, translator and publisher; as researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD); as lecturer with occasional university appointments; as a journalist and columnist; as an exhibition curator; as consultant for collectors and art dealers; as founder, director and webmaster of CODART, an international council for museum curators of Dutch and Flemish art; and as blogger since 1995. Amongst his publications are standard works about Rembrandt and Pieter Saenredam, as wel as 10 other books and 500 articles and columns in journals, the press and the internet, mainly on Dutch and Flemish art, connoisseurship and museum matters.