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Rembrandt and His Works Comprising a Short Account of His Life; with a Critical Examination into His Principles and Practice of Design, Light, Shade, and Colour. Illustrated by Examples from the Etchings of Rembrandt.   By: (1784-1868)

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John Burnet’s Rembrandt and His Works is a comprehensive examination of the life, techniques, and artistic principles of one of history’s greatest painters, Rembrandt van Rijn. This book delves into the intricate details of Rembrandt's distinct style, exploring his use of design, light, shade, and color, while providing insightful examples through the artist's own etchings.

The author begins by presenting a concise yet informative account of Rembrandt's life, providing readers with a solid understanding of the artist's background and influences. This background knowledge lays the foundation for the subsequent analysis and examination of Rembrandt's artistic practices.

Burnet's analysis of Rembrandt's technique is especially noteworthy. He meticulously dissects the artist's approach to design, delving into the intricacies of Rembrandt's brushwork, depictions of form, and composition choices. Burnet's attention to detail allows readers to truly grasp the genius behind Rembrandt's works, as he highlights both the deliberate choices made by the artist and the inherent innovation within his style.

Furthermore, the author's exploration of light, shade, and color within Rembrandt's oeuvre adds another layer of understanding to the artist's brilliance. Burnet illuminates Rembrandt's mastery of chiaroscuro and his ability to capture the interplay between light and shadow with remarkable precision. He also delves into Rembrandt's unique use of color, emphasizing the artist's unconventional palette and highlighting the emotional impact it had on his works.

One of the book's most valuable aspects is Burnet's inclusion of examples from Rembrandt's etchings. These visual aids serve as concrete proof of the author's analysis and allow readers to directly engage with Rembrandt's artistry. By closely examining these etchings, one gains a deeper appreciation for the intricacies and details that Burnet highlights in his analysis.

While some may find the book's technical focus on design, light, shade, and color to be rather dense, it is undeniable that Burnet's dedication to exploring the depths of Rembrandt's work is commendable. He approaches his subject matter with both reverence and enthusiasm, conveying a genuine passion for the artist's legacy.

In conclusion, John Burnet's Rembrandt and His Works is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to better understand the art and genius of Rembrandt van Rijn. Through his detailed analysis, insightful examples, and profound knowledge, Burnet invites readers into the world of Rembrandt, shedding light on the artistic techniques and principles that propelled him to greatness. This book stands as a fitting homage to one of the most influential painters in history, offering both art enthusiasts and scholars alike a deeper understanding of Rembrandt's enduring legacy.

First Page:


Comprising a Short Account of His Life; with a Critical Examination into His Principles and Practice of Design, Light, Shade, and Colour.

Illustrated by Examples from the Etchings of Rembrandt.



Author of "Practical Hints on Painting."

[Illustration: HEAD OF REMBRANDT]

London: David Bogue, 86, Fleet Street. MDCCCXLIX.




The high estimation in which I have ever held the works of Rembrandt has been greatly increased by my going through this examination of his various excellencies, and such will ever be the case when the emanations of genius are investigated; like the lustre of precious stones, their luminous colour shines from the centre, not from the surface. With such a mine of rich ore as the works of Rembrandt contain, it is necessary to apologise for the paucity of examples offered, for in a work of this kind I have been obliged to confine myself to a certain brevity and a limited number of illustrations; still I must do my publisher the justice to say, he has not grudged any expense that would be the means of doing credit to the great artist, the enlightened patron, or my own reputation... Continue reading book >>

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