Rembrandt's mother: myth and reality

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Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 2005 - Art - 238 pages
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*An intriguing look at an important model of Rembrandt van RijnAbout half of the work Rembrandt did in Leiden, the Netherlands, consisted of paintings, etchings and drawings showing older people. In these works an old woman is frequently portrayed who has traditionally been thought to be Rembrandtms mother, Neeltje. Whether Rembrandt really depicted her or whether this is a myth which has persisted for centuries is still not clear. This book discusses the creation of this myth which, although not firmly based on facts, has been an essential part of Rembrandtms image for centuries.The works for which Rembrandtms mother was the model and which are reproduced in this book give an idea of the young artistms iconographic interests. For instance, Rembrandt depicted her as a prophetess, attentively reading a book. Sometimes she plays an active role in religious or allegorical pictures. A similar model can also be recognized in paintings by Rembrandtms friend Jan Lievens and his first pupil Gerrit Dou. By showing the paintings of these young masters, the book examines their artistic relationships. It also offers a unique opportunity to compare early, closely related works and to gain a clearer picture of the collaboration among these artists.

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Rembrandt van Rijn Musical Company Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Jan Lievens Old Woman Reading a Book Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Rembrandt van Rijn Head of an Old Woman with a Cap Rijksprentenkabinet Amsterdam

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