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Rembrandt by Himself (National Gallery of London) [Hardcover]

Rembrandt , Christopher White , Quentin Buvelot
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: National Gallery London; 1st Edition edition (11 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300077890
  • ISBN-13: 978-9040093159
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 23.5 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,007,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) was not a handsome man. He was, however, an exceptional painter of himself. This sumptuous catalogue, published to coincide with the exhibition of his self-portraits at the National Gallery in London, has glossy reproductions of all the paintings and etchings from the show, plus copies of lost ones and those not released by galleries or private collectors, thoroughly annotated to elucidate their history. The scholarship is impressive, being mostly drawn from the Rembrandt Research Project, which for years has been working with a combination of X-ray technology and patient research to ascertain the age of the pictures and the identity of their painter. This is not as obvious as it sounds; Rembrandt had many pupils, and he encouraged them to copy his own self-portraits as practice, leading to the unusual situation of a host of Rembrandt self-portraits not by Rembrandt. The findings of the project have been contentious, with paintings unexpectedly relegated or elevated through reappraisal. What shines through, though, is the sheer diversity of Rembrandt's genius, from the early paintings and etchings where he gurns in a mirror to study expression, through the periods of dressing up as variously an oriental potentate, a soldier, an artisan and St Paul, to the famous trilogy of self-portraits painted in his last year which seem to show a man old beyond his years. The catalogue also contains a selection of works by his pupils Gerrit Dou and Samuel van Hoogstraten, and essays by Rembrandt scholars that seek to revise the somewhat Romantic conceit that the series is some sort of spiritual autobiography. However, a difference between art and art history is the "now" factor, which means that as perceivers inextricably bound up with a modern sense of introspection we cannot avoid imposing a narrative that imbues an existential beauty. Rembrandt By Himself, an intelligent and resourceful accompaniment to the exhibition, will continue to transport the reader when the portraits in the exhibition have long returned to their respective homes. --David Vincent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


This publication maps the many developments in Rembrandt's self-portraiture during his life, and attempts to explain why this genre played such a dominant role in his work. It covers the background to Rembrandt's work and the impact of his style on his contemporaries. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book of Remby's selfportraits 13 May 2005
The book to buy with nice reproductions - and interesting comments.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master 3 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
It's about time that I found a (good) book on this subject. Rembrandts self-portraits (I feel) are of his most important work. The quality of the prints are wonderful...unlike 90% of the art related books floating around. The color reproduction is more accurate than most. This is a must have for any fan of Rembrandt...or for any true lover of painting.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The autobiography as a series of masterpieces 9 Jan 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Rembrandt tells his own story as a series of self- portraits. He traces his life from early youth to sad old age. He presents himself posing as if he understands the self can be a social construct. He creates great masterpieces including the Frick self- portrait where he sits as master and ruler , king of the world of art. He in telling his story looks deeply into his soul and traces a single life as no other painter before or since has. Even his great countryman Van Gogh cannot in his hair and soul raising self- portraits touch the depth and broad humanity of the Rembrandt self - portrait and soul .This is human art at its highest, and most inspiring. Who reads this book reads a great painter and great soul, one of mankind's greatest gifts to itself.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book on the self portraits of the master. 22 Nov 1999
By Charlise Tiee - Published on Amazon.com
This book is facinating. It includes three good and fairly dry essays on the topic of Rembrandt's self portraits. More interesting are the prints of all the works that are considered his self portraits, and the detailed commentary on these works. The prints are very good and quite useful for the lover of Rembrandt.
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