Excerpt from Rembrandt: With a Complete List of His Etchings Rembrandt's affection for scriptural subjects is a striking fact in face of the general character of Dutch art in the seventeenth century. The reformation in Holland seems to have helped towards the exclusion of art from the domain of religion and the merely formal and superficial rendering of biblical stories by the classicists of the late sixteenth century may have also had much to account for the secular reaction of the succeeding period. But Rembrandt had no need to seek new ground to escape from a formal rendering of well known themes. Like most masters of supreme genius, his originality consisted in the realisation of his own deepest and most personal emotion in his treatment of the old stories. They appealed to him as the vehicle of the noblest thoughts of man in relation to himself and God, and he was practically the first artist who dared approach the Scriptures in the Spirit of reality that implied a living faith rather than an official creed.
It is perhaps still not superfluous to emphasise the fact that the etchings of Rembrandt (as of nearly all the painter-engravers or etchers) are original works distinct in methods and aims from the paintings or works in any other medium. In Rembrandt's work of rather more than three hundred etchings there are scarcely half a dozen subjects that correspond with his pictures. In general the original engraver or etcher conceives and carries out his design in specific relation to its medium; its expression in another would demand an entirely different treatment.
About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com
This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.