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Volume IV of A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings deals uniquely with the self-portraits of Rembrandt. In a clearly written explanatory style the head of the Rembrandt Research Project and Editor of this Volume, Ernst van de Wetering, discusses the full body of work of paintings and etchings portraying Rembrandt. He sets the different parameters for accepting or rejecting a Rembrandt self-portrait as such, whilst also discussing the exact working environment of Rembrandt and his apprentices. This workshop setting created a surroundings where apprentices could be involved in working on Rembrandt paintings making it more difficult to determine the hand of the master. Van de Wetering, who is one of the Rembrandt experts of our day and age, goes down to great detail to explain how the different self-portraits are made and what techniques Rembrandt uses, also giving an overview of which paintings are to be attributed to the Dutch Master and which not. In the additional catalogue the self-portraits are examined in detail. In clear and accessible explanatory text the different paintings are discussed, larded with immaculate images of each painting. Details are shown where possible, as well as the results of modern day technical imaging like X-radiography. This work of art history and art research should be part of every serious art historical institute, university or museum. Nowhere in the art history have all Rembrandt's self portraits been discussed in such detailed and comparative manner by an authority such as Ernst van de Wetering. This is a standard work for decades to come.
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