Diary of an Art Historian

October 20 2021

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Picture: TAN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bendor's latest Diary of an art historian piece for The Art Newspaper examines the life and legacy of the late Rembrandt scholar Ernst van der Wetering (1938-2021).

Amongst the points raised, Bendor asks who will take up the mantle of van der Wetering's authoritative gaze on the artist:

Many in the art world will be wondering who now becomes Rembrandt’s appointed representative on earth. In its obituary for van der Wetering, The Times suggested he was “so convinced there were no remaining Rembrandts to be attributed, reattributed or deattributed that he refused to give any thought to naming a successor as the leading expert in the field”. And yet, as another Rembrandt scholar, Gary Schwartz, points out, our understanding of what Rembrandt painted is still significantly incomplete. Of 62 works attributed to Rembrandt from his bankruptcy inventory in 1656, only nine can be certainly identified today. Somewhere out there are Rembrandts of horses, greyhounds, hares, lions fighting and even still lifes.

Update - Bendor here; I've recently heard on the grapevine that a new Rembrandt panel at the Rijksmuseum will soon be announced. 

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