CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

New monograph on Jan Lievens by Bernhard Schnackenburg

Jan Lievens (1607–1674), Rembrandt’s boyhood friend, who embarked on an artistic career even earlier than his companion, once again is as highly regarded as during his lifetime, thanks to numerous recent publications and several exhibitions. The present monograph and catalogue raisonné discuss and analyze for the first time the extensive output of his early Leiden years: his paintings, drawings, and etchings from 1623 to 1632. Besides the book’s comprehensiveness and consideration of the artist’s work in the context of his Netherlandish contemporaries from Haarlem, Utrecht, and Antwerp, special emphasis is placed on establishing the chronology of his oeuvre. Only a solid foundation such as this would make it possible to determine more precisely than before Lievens’s much discussed relationship to Rembrandt. What transpired was a most lively give and take between two young artists intensely searching for new ways of artistic expression whose later development after their respective move from Leiden took very different paths. Consequently, the careful examination of Lievens’s early oeuvre sheds new light on Rembrandt’s Leiden work.

The publication will be presented at Schloss Wilhemshöhe in Kassel on 12 October 2016 at 18:30.


Dr. Bernhard Schnackenburg was Head of the Old Masters Gallery in Kassel from 1983 to 2003. His publications deal with Dutch and Flemish Painting and Drawing of the 17th century. His research on Jan Lievens started with the preparation for the exhibition „The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt“, a jointly project of the Old Masters Gallery with the Rembrandthuis and the Rembrandt Research Project Amsterdam in 2001/2002 which shed a new light on the beginnings of Rembrandt.

Jan Lievens. Friend and rival of the young Rembrandt.
With a catalogue raissonné of his early Leiden work 1623–1632.
Bernhard Schnackenburg, translated from German by Kristin Lohse Belkin
488 pp. and ca. 367 Illustrations
Petersberg 2016