This book is the exhibition catalogue for Rembrandt’s late work at the National Gallery and is part of a major reappraisal of the Master's later years and demonstrates that Rembrandt was cut from a more heroic cloth than most.
Rembrandt produced his best works towards the end of his life, despite a number of personal crises including the death of his wife and son, bankruptcy and legal battles. It is owed to the works he produced in this critical period that he acquired his reputation as the Great Master of the Golden Age, a dazzling period of experimentation and depth in both technique and subject matter. Exceptional works that cling to the memory include The Jewish Bride, his Self Portrait with Two Circles and the monumental Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis – that is surely the first expressionist painting.
From the mid-1650s until his death at age sixty-three, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) generated a remarkable body of work as he searched for a new, painterly, and expressive style. His later works demonstrate his mastery, skilfulness and exceptional ability to render the effects of light, and they have since defined his image as an artist. Rembrandt gleaned inspiration from his direct study of nature, exalting the humble, the mundane, and even the ugly, particularly in his self-portraits and works based on his everyday surroundings. His intimate pictures of figures from history, often portrayed in austere or introspective attitudes, are created with extraordinary sensitivity. This handsome volume includes superb reproductions of some of Rembrandt's most recognizable paintings, alongside etchings and drawings in various media that demonstrate his mastery of the graphic medium. Through a series of thematic essays, the authors draw on new research to examine Rembrandt's iconographic, stylistic and technical innovations and underscore how his work in one medium influenced his work in others. This captivating book is the first to focus exclusively on the paintings, drawings and prints that Rembrandt produced during the final, most creative phase of his career.