In the last few months I’ve been on a Rembrandt high. In order to become more educated about his life and art I began reading “Rembrandt’s Eyes” by noted author, professor, and historian Simon Schama.
The book is loaded with detail not only about Rembrandt van Rijn, but about his contemporary, Peter Paul Rubens. I never realized how big of an influence Rubens was on Rembrandt until reading this book. I also never realized that the painting “The Company of Frans Banning Cocq” (commonly known as “The Night Watch”) was cut down in size centuries ago changing its composition for the worse. Sad isn't it?
I’ll be finishing my first read of the book in the weeks ahead. Most of the book has been enjoyable and very informative, but there were sections that I found tough to get through, partly because of my not knowing how to pronounce many Dutch names and locations and partly because Professor Schama goes into so much academic speak-filled detail about various others lives I didn’t much care about.
The other place I’ve turned to for my Rembrandt fix is the DVD, “The Power of Art” from the same Professor Simon Schama. I’ll do a separate post on this box set of DVDs soon, but for now all I can say is, you need to buy this DVD and its accompanying book.
The DVD episodes are beautifully done and the book is fantastic!