The Painter Thinking

by Ernst van de Wetering


Even during the artist’s lifetime, contemporary art lovers considered Rembrandt van Rijn to be an exceptional artist. In this revelatory sequel to the acclaimed Rembrandt: The Painter at Work, renowned Rembrandt authority Ernst van de Wetering investigates precisely why the artist, from a very early age, was praised by prominent connoisseurs. He argues that Rembrandt, from his very first endeavors in painting, embarked on a journey past all the foundations of the art of painting that, according to (up till now misinterpretated) contemporary written sources, were considered essential in the seventeenth century. Rembrandt never stopped searching for solutions to the pictorial problems that confronted him; this led over time to radical changes in course that can’t simply be attributed to stylistic evolution or natural development. In a quest as rigorous and novel as the artist’s, Van de Wetering reveals how Rembrandt became the best painter the world had ever seen. Gorgeously illustrated throughout, this groundbreaking exploration reconstructs Rembrandt’s closely guarded theories and methods, shedding new light both on the artist’s exceptional accomplishments and on the practice of painting in the Dutch Golden Age.

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Reviews of Rembrandt. The Painter at Work by Ernst van de Wetering:

'The book is - if one may be allowed to say such a thing about a serious scholarly work - a gripping good-read.' Christopher White - The Burlington Magazine

'This is a very rich book, a deeply felt analysis of an artist whom the author knows better than almost any other living scholar.' Christopher Brown - Times Literary Supplement

'Who would not have wanted to look over Rembrandt's shoulder while he painted? Among the countless books on Rembrandt, that by Ernst van de Wetering comes closest to conveying something of this experience because the author combines the qualifications of a trained connoisseur and of a practising painter.' Ernst Gombrich

Author Biography

Ernst van de Wetering is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Amsterdam and chairman of the Rembrandt Research Project. The author of the widely acclaimed Rembrandt: The Painter at Work, he is considered one of the world’s foremost specialists on Rembrandt and his work.

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Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: December 2015
  • English
  • 9789089645616
  • Netherlands
  • Paperback
  • Primary Price: 44.95 EUR
  • Pages: 356
  • Amsterdam University Press
  • Readership: General
  • Publish State: Unpublished
  • Edition: first edition
  • Dimensions: 280x245 mm
  • Illustration: 270-300 illustrations