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Rembrandt   By: (1855-1938)

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Rembrandt by Mortimer Menpes is a wonderfully written and captivating exploration of the renowned Dutch painter's life and works. Menpes offers readers an intimate glimpse into Rembrandt's world, skillfully tracing the artist's journey from his early years to his eventual rise as one of the greatest painters in history.

The book delves into Rembrandt's artistic techniques and his innovative approach to light and shadow, showcasing Menpes' deep understanding and appreciation of the craft. With vivid descriptions and thoughtful analysis, he successfully captures the essence of Rembrandt's artwork, shedding light on the intricate details that make them so compelling even centuries later.

Menpes also delves into Rembrandt's personal life, unraveling the complexities of his character and revealing the struggles and triumphs that shaped his art. The author skillfully navigates through Rembrandt's relationships and the societal context of his time, offering readers valuable insights into the challenges faced by the artist in his personal and professional life.

Furthermore, Menpes beautifully weaves his own first-hand experiences with Rembrandt's works, successfully creating metaphoric connections with the painter's brushstrokes. His passion and admiration for Rembrandt's art shine through every page, making this book not only an informative read but also an emotionally resonant one.

One aspect that sets this book apart is the inclusion of numerous illustrations of Rembrandt's artworks. These visual aids allow readers to fully immerse themselves in the artist's world, enhancing the overall reading experience. The artworks, coupled with Menpes' insightful commentary, form a harmonious blend that brings Rembrandt's masterpieces to life.

Although Menpes' writing style can occasionally be overly verbose, it does not detract significantly from the overall quality of the book. His meticulous attention to detail and his ability to convey Rembrandt's artistic genius more than compensate for any minor flaws.

In conclusion, Rembrandt by Mortimer Menpes is a must-read for art enthusiasts and those interested in the life and works of one of history's greatest painters. Menpes' deep knowledge and genuine passion for Rembrandt's art make this book an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of the artist's brilliance.

First Page:


1637. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.]









Although I am familiar with Rembrandt's work, through photographs and black and white reproductions, I invariably experience a shock from the colour standpoint whenever I come in touch with one of his pictures. I was especially struck with that masterpiece of his at the Hermitage, called the Slav Prince , which, by the way, I am convinced is a portrait of himself; any one who has had the idea suggested cannot doubt it for a moment; it is Rembrandt's own face without question. The reproductions I have seen of this picture, and, in fact, of all Rembrandt's works, are so poor and so unsatisfactory that I was determined, after my visit to St. Petersburg, to devise a means by which facsimile reproductions in colour of Rembrandt's pictures could be set before the public. The black and white reproductions and the photographs I put on one side at once, because of the impossibility of suggesting colour thereby.

Rembrandt has been reproduced in photograph and photogravure, and by every mechanical process imaginable, but all such reproductions are not only disappointing, but wrong... Continue reading book >>

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