Rembrandt, The Night Watch, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, image: Wikipedia
Rembrandt (1606-1669) is perhaps the greatest of all Dutch painters, both from the point of view of the profound psychology of his portraits and Biblical paintings and also the unique style of rugged ‘impressionistic’ brushwork he adopted in his later years. Yet in spite of his revolutionary style, Rembrandt was also deeply impressed by earlier Renaissance masters whose works he studied (and also sometimes bought) on the Dutch art market – we shall make some comparisons to study these areas of influence. The day will be lavishly illustrated with slides and handouts provided of the paintings considered.
Leslie Pitcher (B.A. Cantab.) has a degree in Classics from Trinity College, Cambridge. He lectures for The Arts Society, WEA, and U3A. He has also lectured at Brompton Oratory on Religious Art. His particular interest is in the Classical tradition in art from the Ancient World, the Renaissance and Baroque.
9.45 Doors open
10.00 Self-portraits and early years
We begin with a look at some of the unique self-portraits Rembrandt did throughout his career showing himself both in his early successful years and his later comparative poverty due to financial problems. Then we look at early genre and Biblical paintings and how they seem to use members of his own family as models.
11.30 The years of success
Individual and group portraits together with dramatic Biblical paintings from the years when Rembrandt was probably the most famous and wealthiest painter in Amsterdam. We will also make a detailed study of his great painting ‘The Night Watch’.
1.30 The later years
The more contemplative but even more profound later portraits and Biblical paintings, with a consideration of their unique qualities of brushwork and lighting and why they were less in favour with the Dutch public at the time.
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