Rembrandt, Reputation, and the Practice of Connoisseurship

From 1870 to 1935, the 1st real catalogues raisonnés of Rembrandt's work have been produced, incorporating the result of person connoisseurs' reviews of authenticity and caliber. This e-book, the 1st full-length learn of this scholarly corpus, concentrates at the written connoisseurship of Wilhelm von Bode, Abraham Bredius, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, and Wilhelm Valentiner, whose articles and catalogues first formed the trendy notion of Rembrandt as a painter. as well as interpreting their written paintings, Scallen addresses the social context in their connoisseurial practices, as formed via their museum careers and their relationships with buyers and collectors.

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Valentiner mentioned that of the seventy work in the US that have been attributed to Rembrandt, sixty-five have been photographs. fifty five The effect of style right here was once balanced through the sensible restraints of the artwork marketplace, for multi-figured Rembrandt work hardly seemed within the paintings industry in this interval of yankee assortment construction. within the related vein, Valentiner’s choice to pay attention to works attributed to Rembrandt’s later interval of labor, from the 1650s and 1660s, was once marketplace comparable; whereas this emphasis represented a shift in flavor from the earliest Rembrandt purchases delivered to the US and the heightened curiosity of students reminiscent of Valentiner during this part of Rembrandt’s paintings, it additionally mirrored the better variety of overdue “Rembrandts” on hand within the alternate, particularly after the flip of the 20 th century. Given the dominating function of usa citizens within the artwork industry within the twentyyear interval best as much as the exhibition, reviewers for ecu courses have been willing to determine what the creditors had comprehensive as a gaggle; references to the provenance of many work hinted on the dissolution of such former collections because the Demidoff or Rodolphe and Maurice Kann’s collections. E. Waldmann went as far as to say that “the most sensible works of the simplest masters have discovered their approach around the ocean, specially lately, for instance, the commonly most-admired works of Rembrandt’s past due interval were obtained for America,” a miles cry from Bode’s statement of yet many years previous that barely any very important Rembrandts had crossed the Atlantic. fifty six Friedländer additionally famous that Valentiner’s offerings for the exhibition published the dominance of Bode and Hofstede de Groot’s connoisseurship in the US, in addition to Valentiner’s position as pupil of those tested students. fifty seven The Rembrandts within the exhibition have been very popular via reviewers, with The Savant (No. ninety seven, now known as Aristotle with a Bust of Homer; fig. forty eight) in Mrs. Collis Huntington’s assortment and Henry Clay Frick’s Rembrandt selfportrait from 1658 (no. 102; fig. forty nine) receiving specific compliment. fifty eight the topic of the Portrait of a woman (Hendrickje Stoffels) from Chicago (no. ninety one; now commonly known as younger girl at an Open Half-Door; fig. forty four) divided reviewers: a few, akin to Joseph Breck (and Valentiner) observed it as an outline of Hendrickje, whereas others, resembling Waldmann, rejected this identity. fifty nine whereas Kenyon Cox did rembrandt in the United States 197 * Scallen V5 02-02-2004 17:02 Pagina 198 (Zwart/Process Black Plaat) fig. forty eight – Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, 1653 now not take a stand at the subject’s identification, he came across the portray to be a “marvel of artwork” and in comparison it to Leonardo and Titian. 60 This reception used to be relatively diversified from Bode’s first released opinion of the portray in 1883, even supposing he had come to view it extra favorably over the years. sixty one John G. Johnson’s portray, The discovering of Moses (no. 86), was once in comparison greater than as soon as to Fragonard in phrases that are meant to most likely have raised issues approximately its attribution; its distin- 198 rembrandt, acceptance, and the perform of connoisseurship * Scallen V5 02-02-2004 17:02 Pagina 199 (Zwart/Process Black Plaat) guished provenance, even if, from Crozat’s and Robert Peel’s collections, and the final appreciate during which Johnson was once held as a collector can have quashed any voicing of doubts approximately its authorship.

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