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Post subject: They literally gasped at the obvious. Posted: Feb 19, 2006 - 01:29 PM Guest

I like the reaction some of my friends had when first seeing the photograph of the maquette and mirror for Rembrandt's drawing of four musicians. They literally gasped at the obvious. So my question is about the Rembrandt Research Project: Is there no sign of them making even the slightest adjustment to their reading of Rembrandt’s working process?

N Konstam

Post subject: RE: They literally gasped at the obvious. Posted: Feb 20, 2006 - 08:30 PM

Yes, I am glad to be able to report that in the introduction to the fourth volume, that is after 30 years in the Project, Prof. Van de Wetering, the leader of the RRP, states rather tentatively that Rembrandt's work "gives the impression that Rembrandt was an exploratory, questing artist, someone who never resorted to ready made solutions". Van de Wetering has not yet taken on board the nature of Rembrandt's exploration in spite of the fact that he and a group of his students spent a whole day here examining the maquettes and even receiving a lesson in drawing from me. But it is a small step forward on his book 'Rembrandt, the Painter at Work' where you will find him (in chapter 4) describing the most unexploratory method of painting: Three contestants in a painting competition using a variety of ready-made solutions, which he goes on to suggest was Rembrandt's method. It is almost inconceivable that he will be able to take the big step that is necessary because it would undermine his life's work.