Rembrandt's Eyes

Thương hiệu: Simon Schama
Tình trạng: Mới
Bán tại: Mỹ
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Publisher
Knopf; 1st edition (November 16, 1999)
Language
English
Hardcover
768 pages
ISBN-10
067940256X
ISBN-13
978-0679402565
Item Weight
5.53 pounds
Dimensions
8.19 x 1.95 x 10.33 inches
Best Sellers Rank
#367,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #719 in Artist & Architect Biographies #1,304 in Arts & Photography Criticism #2,035 in Individual Artists (Books)
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 133Reviews
Thông tin sản phẩm Rembrandt's Eyes
Thương hiệu Simon Schama là cái tên nổi tiếng được rất nhiều khách hàng trên thế giới chọn lựa. Với kiểu dáng đẹp mắt, sang trọng, sản phẩm Rembrandt's Eyes là sự lựa chọn hoàn hảo nếu bạn đang tìm mua một món History & Criticism cho riêng mình.
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Tính năng sản phẩm

• Rembrandt's Eyes shows us why Rembrandt is such a thrilling painter, so revolutionary in his art, so penetrating of the hearts of those who have looked for three hundred years at his pictures.

Mô tả sản phẩm

Product Description

For Rembrandt as for Shakespeare, all the world was indeed a stage, and he knew in exhaustive detail the tactics of its performance: the strutting and mincing; the wardrobe and the face paint; the full repertoire of gesture and grimace; the flutter of hands and the roll of the eyes; the belly laugh and the half-stifled sob. He knew what it looked like to seduce, to intimidate, to wheedle, and to console; to strike a pose or preach a sermon; to shake a fist or uncover a breast; how to sin and how to atone; how to commit murder and how to commit suicide. No artist had ever been so fascinated by the fashioning of personae, beginning with his own. No painter ever looked with such unsparing intelligence or such bottomless compassion at our entrances and our exits and the whole rowdy show in between.

More than three centuries after his death, Rembrandt remains the most deeply loved of all the great masters of painting, his face so familiar to us from the self-portraits painted at every stage in his life, yet still so mysterious. As with Shakespeare, the facts of his life are hard to come by: the Leiden miller's son who briefly found fame in Amsterdam, whose genius was fitfully recognized by his contemporaries, who fell into bankruptcy and died in poverty. So there is probably no painter whose life has engendered more legends, nor to whom more unlikely pictures have been attributed (a process now undergoing rigorous reversal).
Rembrandt's Eyes, about which Simon Schama has been thinking for more than twenty years, shows that the true biography of Rembrandt is to be discovered in his pictures. Through a succession of superbly incisive descriptions and interpretations of Rembrandt's paintings threaded into this narrative, he allows us to see Rembrandt's life clearly and to think about it afresh.

But this book moves far beyond the bounds of conventional biography or art history. With extraordinary imaginative sympathy, Schama conjures up the world in which Rembrandt moved -- its sounds, smells, and tastes as well as its politics; the influences on him of the wars of the Protestant United Provinces against Spain, of the extreme Calvinism of his native Leiden, of the demands of patrons and the ambitions of contemporaries; the importance of his beloved Saskia and, after her death (Rembrandt was later forced to sell her grave, so complete was his ruin), of his mistress Hendrickje Stoffels; and, above all, the profound effect on him of the great master of the immediately preceding generation, the Catholic painter from Antwerp, Peter Paul Rubens:
"the prince of painters and the painter of princes" with whom Rembrandt was obsessed for the first part of his life, and whose career was the shaping force that drove Rembrandt to test the farthest reaches of his own originality.

Rembrandt's Eyes shows us why Rembrandt is such a thrilling painter, so revolutionary in his art, so penetrating of the hearts of those who have looked for three hundred years at his pictures. Above all, Schama's understanding of Rembrandt's mind and the dynamic of his life allows him to re-create Rembrandt's life on the page. Through a combination of scholarship and literary skill, Schama allows us to actually see that life through Rembrandt's own eyes.  In overcoming the paucity of conventional historical evidence, it is the most intelligently true biography of Rembrandt that has been written, and the most dazzling achievement to date of the art historian whose work has been hailed as "marvelously rich and eloquent" . . . "rare, imaginative" . . . "provocative" . . . "astoundingly learned with verve, humor, and an unflagging sense of delight" . . . that of "a master
storyteller . . . and "a master of history."*
*From the
New York Times Book Review, Time, The New York Times, The Independent on Sunday, and Nature.

Amazon.com Review

The great 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn left us so many arresting self-portraits, painted at every stage in his eventful life, that his distinctive face and bearing are a familiar part of the 20th-century cultural landscape, a recognizable presence in galleries across Europe and North America. Nonetheless, the artist himself remains an enigma. Rembrandt was a notoriously difficult man and an inveterate risk taker in life and art: his aspirations to a grandiose Amsterdam lifestyle in the heyday of his popularity as a painter of portraits and large-scale historical works bankrupted him, and he died in relative poverty. His personal effects and treasured collection of paintings and natural rarities were sold off and dispersed, leaving the historian with a tantalizingly scant body of fragmentary records around which to build a convincing biography.

In Rembrandt's Eyes, Simon Schama--the leading historical craftsman of our era, with a career-long commitment to Dutch history--succeeds with consummate skill in bringing the heroic painter of such masterpieces as The Night Watch and Portrait of Jan Six vividly to life. Returning to the bustling Dutch world with which he first made his reputation in the bestselling Embarrassment of Riches (1987), Schama re-creates Rembrandt's life and times with all the verve and panache of a historical novelist--while never for an instant losing his scrupulous grip on recorded fact and detail. The telling surviving fragments of archival information about Rembrandt's personal and professional history are skillfully embedded in a rich, dense tapestry of the commercial whirl and political hurly-burly of the 17th-century Low Countries--a divided territory, split between the Catholic and Protestant faiths and the contested powers of the Spanish Hapsburgs and the Dutch Republic--with the tentacles of the tale reaching into the most unexpected shadowy corners of European love and war, aspiration and intrigue.

Rembrandt's Eyes is, in fact, two biographies for the price of one. From the outset, Schama contrasts the life of Rembrandt with that of his older, equally talented countryman Peter Paul Rubens, whose meteoric rise and sustained success as a society painter forms a revealing contrast with Rembrandt's unhappier relationship with fame and fortune. The comparison is a telling one. Where Rubens furnishes the wealthy and powerful with glorious reflections of, and visual foils for, their social and political aspirations and glory, Rembrandt can never resist testing the envelope of taste and stylistic acceptability. His challenge to his clients to embrace the shock of his painterly experiments with technique, texture, and composition ultimately produced his downfall. The Amsterdam town council took down his The Oath-swearing of Claudius Civilis, rolled it up, and returned his masterpiece to him to be cut down in an attempt to sell it to a suitable buyer.

This is a gorgeous book to own, too. Rembrandt's Eyes is printed on heavy, high-gloss paper and lavishly illustrated throughout in full color. The double-page color spreads of the most memorable of Rembrandt's works will take readers' breath away. But above all, this is narrative history at its very best, a page-turner and an adventure story that will make the reader laugh and cry by turns in the time-honored tradition of masterly writing. --Lisa Jardine

From Library Journal

Schama's baroque writing style may be controversial, but here he delivers something undeniably stunning. As much a study of the times as a biography, this richly rendered book builds detail upon detail--just like a painting. Schama escapes the dreariness of much art historical writing and with forceful, vigorous prose makes us really look at the paintings. (LJ 10/15/99)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Impassioned and learned, expansive and discursive, Rembrandt's Eyes not only leaves us with a fierce appreciation of the artist's work but also immerses us inexorably in his world. -- The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani

Rembrandt is a modern figure to Schama--a genius who personally is a mess, an intellectual caught up in the rough-and-tumble of the day and in the stuff of real life. --
The New York Times Book Review, Michael Kimmelman

Schama has the great gift of bringing to life whatever he turns to. This is a matter of creative imagination and creative writing. Together they predispose him to get at art's relationship to life. --
The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Svetlana Alpers

From the Inside Flap

t as for Shakespeare, all the world was indeed a stage, and he knew in exhaustive detail the tactics of its performance: the strutting and mincing; the wardrobe and the face paint; the full repertoire of gesture and grimace; the flutter of hands and the roll of the eyes; the belly laugh and the half-stifled sob. He knew what it looked like to seduce, to intimidate, to wheedle, and to console; to strike a pose or preach a sermon; to shake a fist or uncover a breast; how to sin and how to atone; how to commit murder and how to commit suicide. No artist had ever been so fascinated by the fashioning of personae, beginning with his own. No painter ever looked with such unsparing intelligence or such bottomless compassion at our entrances and our exits and the whole rowdy show in between.

More than three centuries after his death, Rembrandt remains the most deeply loved of all the great masters of painting, his face so familiar to us from the self-portraits painted at every stage in his life, y

About the Author

Simon Schama was born in London in 1945, and since 1966 has taught history at Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. He is now University Professor at Columbia University. Besides his work as a regular essayist and critic for The New Yorker, he is the prizewinning author of Patriots and Liberators, The Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel, The Embarrassment of Riches, Citizens, Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations), and Landscape and Memory. He is also the writer-presenter of historical and art-historical documentaries for BBC television. He lives outside New York City with his wife and two children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Rembrandt had taken to painting himself in armor. Not the full body suit. No one except cuirassiers, who were vulnerable to being jabbed by pikemen below the crupper, went in for that anymore. But every so often Rembrandt liked to wear his gorget. It was a hinged collar-piece, covering the base of the neck, collarbone, and upper back, and it looked good lying below a wound silken stock or scarf; a touch of steel lest he be thought too much the dandy. It was not that he was about to report for duty, even though, at twenty-three, he was of an age to serve in the militia, especially since an older brother had had a disabling accident at the mill. But this was social armor, military chic, not unlike the studiously worn fatigues affected by twentieth-century politicians gone sedentary, or the flak jackets of the urban paratrooper. Rembrandt's gorget with its glinting studs gave him the bearing of a soldier without the obligations.

And then, quite suddenly, peril chilled the summer. In early August 1629, to general consternation, the city of Amersfoort, not forty miles from Amsterdam, had fallen to the invading imperial army with scarcely a shot fired in anger. Worse, the trembling city fathers had opened their gates to the Italian and German soldiers, who swiftly set about reconsecrating its churches to the Virgin. Censers swung. Nones and complines were sung. The panic would not last long. A lightning counterattack on the imperial citadel at Wesel had surprised the garrison at dawn and cut off the Catholic army from its rear, dooming the whole invasion to sorry retreat.

But while it lasted, the sense of crisis was real enough. Companies of part-time militia -- brewers and dyers, men who, for as long as anyone could remember, had done nothing more threatening than parade around on Sundays in fancy boots and gaudy sashes, or who shot at wooden parrots atop a pole -- were now being sent to frontier towns in the east. There they were supposed to relieve the professional troops for active combat in the embattled theaters of war. On the surface, much seemed the same. There was still stockfish and butter for the table. Students at the university still slept through lectures on Sallust and got tight in the evenings, braying at the fastened shutters of the respectable. But the war had not bypassed Leiden altogether. Propaganda prints reminding citizens, in literally graphic detail, of the horrors endured when the towns of Holland were themselves besieged fifty years earlier issued from patriotic presses. Students enrolled in the school of military engineering were required to make wooden models of fortifications and gun emplacements. Some were even taken to the battlefield in Brabant to see if their notions could stand the test of fire. On the Galgewater and the Oude Rijn, barges rode low at the waterline, their holds crammed with morion helmets and partisans alongside crates of turnips and barrels of beer.
So it suited Rembrandt to get himself up as a military person. Of course, a "person" in the seventeenth century meant a persona: a guise or role assumed by an actor. Rembrandt was playing his part, and the deep shadow and rough handling of his face complicate the mask, suggest the struggling fit between the role and the man. No painter would ever understand the theatricality of social life as well as Rembrandt. He saw the actors in men and the men in the actors. Western art's first images of stage life -- the dressing room and the wardrobe -- came from his hand. But Rembrandt's drama did not stop at the stage door. He also painted historical figures and his own contemporaries in their chosen personae, rehearsing their allotted manners as if before an audience. And he cast himself in telling bit parts -- the executioners of St. Stephen and Christ; a scared sailor on the churning Sea of Galilee -- and just occasionally in a significant lead: the Prodigal Son, whoring in a tavern. For Rembrandt as for Shakespeare, all the world was indeed a stage, and he knew in exhaustive detail the tactics of its performance: the strutting and mincing; the wardrobe and the face paint; the full repertoire of gesture and grimace; the flutter of hands and the roll of the eyes; the belly laugh and the half-stifled sob. He knew what it looked like to seduce, to intimidate, to wheedle, and to console; to strike a pose or preach a sermon; to shake a fist or uncover a breast; how to sin and how to atone; how to commit murder and how to commit suicide. No artist had ever been so fascinated by the fashioning of personae, beginning with his own. No painter ever looked with such unsparing intelligence or such bottomless compassion at our entrances and our exits and the whole rowdy show in between.

So here is the greatest trouper who never trod the boards playing Youngman Corporal, his I-mean-business gorget belied by the soft fringed collar falling over the studded metal, the slightly arched, broken eyebrow line (absent from the copy in The Hague), the deep set of the right eye, and the half-shadowed face, sabotaging the bravura, hinting at the vulnerability beneath the metal plate: the mortal meeting the martial. There is a touch too much humanity here to carry off the show. The light reveals a full, mobile mouth, the lips highlit as if nervously licked; large, liquid eyes; a great acreage of cheek and chin; and, planted in the center of his face, the least aquiline nose in seventeenth-century painting.


And then there is the
liefdelok, the lovelock trailing over his left shoulder. Huygens, who would never be accused of indulging in frivolous exhibitionism, had written a long poem satirizing the outlandish fashions affected by the young in The Hague: slashed breeches, over-the-shoulder capes, and flying knee ribbons. But flamboyantly long hair was being singled out by the Calvinist preachers as an especial abomination in the sight of the Lord. Rembrandt evidently paid none of this any heed. He must have taken great pains with his lovelock -- also known from its origins in the French court as a cadenette -- since of course it took immense care to produce the required effect of carelessness. The hair had to be cut asymmetrically, the top of the lock kept full while its body was thinned to taper along its length, ending in the gathered and separated strands.

And yet the picture is quite free of vain self-satisfaction. Rembrandt looks at himself in the glass, already committed to catching the awkward truth, trying to fix the point at which temerity is shadowed by trepidation, virile self-possession unmanned by pensive anxiety. He is Hamlet in Holland, an inward-outward persona, a poet in heavy metal, the embodiment of both the active and the contemplative life, someone whom Huygens was bound to commend. . . .

iv        
Leiden, 1629

Rembrandt was giving his full attention to the matter of painting, and in particular to a small patch of plaster in a corner of his walk-up studio. At the point where the wall met the upright beam of the doorjamb, projecting into the room, plaster had begun to flake and lift, exposing a triangle of rosy brick. It was the Rhine-water damp that did it; the oily green river which exhaled its cold mists out over the canals, insinuating itself through the cracks and shutters of the gabled alley-houses. In the grander residences of well-to-do burghers -- professors and cloth merchants -- that stretched along the Houtstraat and the Rapenburg, the invading clamminess was met, resisted, and, if all else failed, obscured by rows of ceramic tiles beginning at the foot of the wall and climbing upward as means and taste dictated. If means were modest, the householder could make a serial strip -- of children's games or proverbs -- to which further items could be added as fortune allowed. If he were already fortunate, an entire picture -- of a great vase of flowers, an East Indiaman in full sail, or the portrait of William the Silent -- could be constructed from brilliantly colored pieces. But Rembrandt's studio was bare of any of these conveniences. Unhindered, the damp had eaten its way into the plaster, engendering blooms of mold, blistering the surface, opening cracks and fissures in corners where the moisture collected.

Rembrandt liked this. From the beginning, he was powerfully drawn to ruin; the poetry of imperfection. He enjoyed tracing the marks left by the bite of worldly experience: the pits and pocks, the red-rimmed eyes and scabby skin which gave the human countenance a mottled richness. The piebald, the scrofulous, the stained, and the encrusted were matters for close and loving inspection; irregularities to run through his fingering gaze. Other than the Holy Scripture, he cared for no book as well as the book of decay, its truths written in the furrows scored on the brows of old men and women; in the sagging timbers of decrepit barns; in the lichenous masonry of derelict buildings; in the mangy fur of a valetudinarian lion. And he was a compulsive peeler, itching to open the casing of things and people, to winkle out the content packed within. He liked to toy with the poignant discrepancies between outsides and insides, the brittle husk and the vulnerable core.

In the corner of his room, Rembrandt's eye ran over the fishtail triangle of decomposing wall, coming apart in discrete layers, each with its own pleasingly distinct texture: the risen, curling skin of the limewash; the broken crust of the chalky plaster, and the dusty brick beneath; the minute crevices gathering dark ridges of grunge. All these materials, in their different states of deterioration, he translated faithfully into paint, and did so with such intense scrutiny and devotion that the patch of crumbling fabric begins to take on a necrotic quality like damaged flesh. Above the door another veinous crack is making swift progress through the plaster.

To give his gash in the wall physical immediacy and visual credibility, Rembrandt would have used the most precisely pointed of his brushes: a soft-bristled instrument made from the pelt of some silky li...

 

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