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A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings Volume VI: Rembrandt’s Paintings Revisited – A Complete Survey presented

Today the sixth and final volume of the Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings was presented by Ernst van de Wetering in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Van de Wetering, the author of the Volume and final remaining member of the Rembrandt Research Project presents an overview of the painted works by Rembrandt in this final volume of the monumental series, Rembrandt’s paintings revisited. A complete survey.

Van de Wetering counts 340 autograph Rembrandts. In 1986 Christian Tümpel counted 280 autograph works. The 60 that are now accepted by Van de Wetering are not newly discovered works. They were simply rejected as "genuine Rembrandts" before. According to Van de Wetering this is due to his predecessor’s wish to purify Rembrandt’s oeuvre. Van de Wetering claims that the arguments for these purifications were sometimes poor.

Many museums have gained a Rembrandt or two in the new Rembrandt survey, that will be published later this month. Not all of them accept the new attributions however. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery in London for example have not accepted the re-attributions of works in their collections. Van de Wetering is convinced that time will proove that his attributions are correct. In an interview with Dutch newspaper NRC he states: "I am not into opinions, my statements are founded upon scientifically supported argumentations. For ANP he adds: "In 46 years I have gained so much insight in Rembrandt’s technique, use of materials and thoughts, that I can offer a strong argumentation in re-attributing the paintings."

The publication of this final volume also signals the end of the Rembrandt Research Project. The project started in 1968 by Bob Haak and Josua Bruyn, with the aim to rid Rembrandt’s oeuvre of paintings that harmed the image of the painter. They were soon joined by Simon Levie, Pieter van Thiel and Ernst van de Wetering.

The previous volumes were published in 1982 (Paintings between 1625-1631), 1986 (Paintings between 1631-1634), 1989 (Paintings between 1635-1642) 2005 (The self-portraits) and 2011 (Small-scale history paintings 1624-1669).

A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings: Volume VI – Rembrandt’s Paintings Revisited: A Complete Survey
Ernst van de Wetering
XII, 736p.,1135 color
(Springer) 2014
ISBN 978-94-017-9173-1
€ 1199,00 £1079.50