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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rembrandt and practice


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Rembrandt


Rembrandt (1606-1669) was a Dutch painter best known for his self-portraits and painting scenes from the Bible. Art historian Herbert Read said,


"Rembrandt was himself a universal spirit, and this spirit informs everything that he painted so that a biblical legend, carcass of an ox, a naked woman, his own self-portrait - all stand as symbols of an all-embracing sympathy. Perhaps only Shakespeare, in another art, has that kind of universal intelligence." (Gauguin: The Return to Symbolism)


Art historian Kenneth Clark said,


"The psychological truth of Rembrandt's paintings goes beyond that of any other artist who has ever lived. Of course they are masterpieces of sheer picture-making... Bathsheba's thoughts and feelings as she ponders David's letter are rendered with a subtlety and a human sympathy which a great novelist could scarcely achieve in many pages." (Civilization, 1969)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Rembrandt.




"Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know." (




"Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God." (Quoted in Rembrandt Drawings, 1975)


"A painting is complete when it has the shadows of a god." (Quoted in The Rise of the Cult of Rembrandt by Alison MacQueen)


"A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished." (Quoted in The Rise of the Cult of Rembrandt by Alison MacQueen)