Saturday, July 23

Roger de Piles anecdote about Rembrandt

Right: Girl at an Open Half-Door, 1645
Left: A Young Girl Leaning on a Window-still, 1645

The art critic and art dealer Roger de Piles wrote this anecdote in his book "L'Abrégé de la vie des peintres" (The Art of Painting and the Lives of the Painters, 1699):

“Rembrandt diverted himself one day by making a portrait of his servant in order to exhibit it at his window and deceive the eyes of the pedestrians. He succeeded because the deception was only noticed a few days later. It was not beautiful drawing, nor a noble expression which produced this effect. One does not look for these qualities in his work. While in Holland I was curious to see the portrait. I found it painted well and with great strength. I bought it and still exhibit it in an important position in my cabinet”

Poor Rembrandt.
These reproductions are terrible but it is getting harder an harder to find a good reproduction of some paintings because now when we search there are many sites that sell posters and painted in oil reproductions that change the colors of the original to match coughs I believe. In some of them they show how your acquisition will be at a living room. As you can see these two paintings are from the same year but the colors are totally different. I will publish two versions of the same painting again to make visible how we cannot rely on reproductions.

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