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Inspiration and Emulation

Selected Studies on Rubens and Rembrandt

by Toshiharu Nakamura (Author) Kayo Hirakawa (Volume editor)
Monographs 320 Pages

Summary

This book discusses an important theme in art history - artistic emulation that emphasizes the exchange between Flemish and Dutch art in the seventeenth century. Since the Middle Ages, copying has been perceived as an important step in artistic training. Originality, on the other hand, has been considered an indispensable hallmark of great works of art since the Renaissance. Therefore, in the seventeenth century, ambitious painters frequently drew inspiration from other artists’ works, attempting to surpass them in various aspects of aesthetic appeal. Drawing on this perspective, this book considers the problems of imitation, emulation, and artistic rivalry in seventeenth-century Netherlandish art. It primarily focuses on Rubens and Rembrandt, but also discusses other masters like van Dyck and Hals. It particularly results in expanding the extant body of knowledge in relation to Rubens’s influence on Rembrandt and Hals. Moreover, it reveals certain new aspects of Rubens and Rembrandt as work-shop masters - collaboration with specialists, use of oil sketches, and teaching methods to pupils for example.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • List of Color Plates and Figures
  • Rubens’s Painting Practice: Some Considerations on His Collaboration with Specialists and His Relationship with Van Dyck as Workshop Assistant
  • Rubens and Flower Still Life Paintings: Regarding Pausias and Glycera
  • Rubens and the History of the Oil Sketch
  • Rembrandt’s Andromeda
  • Rembrandt’s The Blinding of Samson: A Work for Artistic Emulation with Rubens?
  • How to Construct Better Narrative Compositions: Rembrandt’s Probable Teaching Methods and Instruction
  • Frans Hals’s Painterly Style and His Tronie-like Genre Paintings: An Examination of the Influence of Flemish Head Studies
  • Bibliography
  • Bibliographical Note
  • Photo Credits and Sources
  • Color Plates
  • Index

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Preface

Since the Middle Ages, copying has been seen as an important part of artistic training in workshops. Pupils were expected to learn the skills of representation and to enrich their visual knowledge through copying their masters’ and other artists’ works, mainly prints and drawings stored in the workshops. To imitate and to create are not likely to have been regarded as incompatible; for instance, in his Schilder-Boeck (1604), Karel van Mander referred to a Dutch proverb, “Wel ghecoockte rapen is goe pattage” or “Well-cooked pickings make good pottage.” The Dutch word rapen means not only turnips but also to pick or gather. Thus, the proverb says that by borrowing various parts from good paintings by other artists and putting them together, a better painting can be produced.

In fact, the importance of learning from predecessors’ works seems to have been indelibly stamped on the artist’s mind. Interestingly, in 1637, Franciscus Junius the Younger sent Rubens his newly published book, De pictura veterum. In his letter of gratitude, Rubens highly praised the book for its admirable erudition and assemblage of all examples, opinions, and precepts concerning the art of painting found in numerous ancient writings. In the same letter, however, Rubens asked Junius to write a treatise on the paintings of the Italian masters, which were extant and could afford closer examination and provide richer material for study than ancient paintings that were lost and could only be imagined. This comment shows clearly how eager Rubens was to learn from other artists’ works. Remarkably, a comparable stance was also taken by Rembrandt, who had a large number of prints and drawings in his collection, which he urged his pupils to copy diligently.

Despite the great importance attached to imitation, however, it should be pointed out that originality has been regarded as an indispensable hallmark of a great work of art since the Renaissance. To simply copy the example of predecessors slavishly was thought to foster stagnation in art; painters were required to be creative. In studying the ← 7 | 8 → works of predecessors, it was necessary to progress from imitating and borrowing to emulating and innovating. Therefore, painters frequently drew inspiration from other artists’ works and then tried to surpass them in various aspects of aesthetic appeal.

This book collects seven essays that consider the problems of imitation, emulation, and artistic rivalry, focusing on Rubens and Rembrandt. Hopefully, they illustrate how intensely these two great seventeenth-century masters were concerned with both earlier and contemporary works.

It was Kayo Hirakawa, my colleague in European art history at the Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University, who encouraged me to publish a collection of essays. Without her considerable support and invaluable advice, this book would never have come into being.

Osaka, August 2017

Toshiharu Nakamura

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List of Color Plates and Figures

pl. 1 Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, St. Ambrose and the Emperor Theodosius, ca. 1617–1618, oil on panel, 308 × 246 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie, Vienna.

pl. 2 Peter Paul Rubens and Osias Beert the Elder, Pausias and Glycera, ca. 1615, oil on canvas, 203.2 × 193.4 cm, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota (SN219).

pl. 3 Peter Paul Rubens, The Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin, 1611, oil on panel, transferred to canvas, 106 × 78 cm, The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.

pl. 4 Rembrandt van Rijn, Andromeda, ca 1630, oil on panel, 34 × 24.5 cm, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague.

pl. 5 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Blinding of Samson, 1636, oil on canvas, 206 × 276 cm, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.

pl. 6 Constantijn Daniel van Renesse, corrected by Rembrandt, Job, His Wife, and His Friends, ca. 1650–1652, drawing, 18 × 23.8 cm, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

pl. 7 Peter Paul Rubens, Four Studies of the Head of a Negro, ca. 1613–1615, oil, originally on panel, transferred to canvas, 51 × 66 cm, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels.

pl. 8 Frans Hals, The Rommel-Pot Player, ca. 1618–1622, oil on canvas, 106 × 80.3 cm, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth (ACF 1951.01). ← 9 | 10 →

fig. 1 Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Battle of the Amazons, ca. 1598–1600, oil on panel, 97 × 124 cm, Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, Schloß Sanssouci Bildergalerie, Potsdam.

fig. 2 Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man, ca. 1617, oil on panel, 74.3 × 114.7 cm, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague.

fig. 3 Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, Madonna and Child in a Garland of Fruit and Flowers, ca. 1620, oil on panel, 79 × 65 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

fig. 4 Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders, The Recognition of Philopoemen, ca. 1609–1610, oil on canvas, 201 × 311 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

fig. 5 Peter Paul Rubens, The Recognition of Philopoemen, ca. 1609–1610, oil on panel, 50.5 × 66.5 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

fig. 6 Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Wildens, Act of Devotion by Rudolf I of Hapsburg, mid 1620s, oil on canvas, 199 × 286 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

fig. 7 Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, Wolf and Fox Hunt, ca. 1615–1616, oil on canvas, 245.4 × 376.2 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910).

fig. 8 Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Snyders, and Jan Wildens, Cymon and Iphigenia, ca. 1617–1618, oil and canvas, 208 × 282 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie, Vienna.

fig. 9 Peter Paul Rubens, Cymon and Iphigenia, ca. 1617–1618, oil on panel, 29.9 × 43.3 cm, Collection of the Earl of Wemyss and March, Gosford House.

fig. 10 Verhulst after Rubens, A View of the Escorial, 1640, oil on canvas, 155 × 254 cm, Collection of the Earl of Radnor, Longford Castle. ← 10 | 11 →

fig. 11 Peter Paul Rubens, St. Jerome in the Wilderness, ca. 1612–1615, oil on canvas, 236 × 163.5 cm, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.

fig. 12 Anthony van Dyck, St. Jerome in the Wilderness, ca. 1620, oil on canvas, 195 × 215.5 cm, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.

fig. 13 Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, Achilles Discovered among the Daughters of Lycomedes, ca. 1617–1618, oil on panel, 246 × 267 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

fig. 14 Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, St. Ambrose and the Emperor Theodosius, ca. 1617–1618, oil on panel, 308 × 246 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie, Vienna.

fig. 15 Anthony van Dyck, St. Ambrose and the Emperor Theodosius, ca. 1619–1620, oil on canvas, 149 × 113.2 cm, The National Gallery, London.

fig. 16 Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, Victoria and Virtus, from The Cycle of Decius Mus, ca. 1617–1618, oil on canvas, 288 × 272 cm, Liechtenstein, Princely Collections, Vaduz and Vienna.

fig. 17 Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, The Interpretation of the Victim, from The Cycle of Decius Mus, ca. 1617–1618, oil on canvas, 294 × 412 cm, Liechtenstein, Princely Collections, Vaduz and Vienna.

fig. 18 Anthony van Dyck, Head of a Young Man, ca. 1617–1618, oil on paper on panel, 51.2 × 41.4 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

fig. 19 Anthony van Dyck, Two Studies of a Bearded Man, ca. 1618–1620, oil on canvas, 45 × 67 cm, private collection (on long-term loan to the Dixon Art Gallery and Gardens, Memphis). ← 11 | 12 →

fig. 20 Workshop of Rubens, Drunken Silenus Supported by Satyrs, ca. 1620, oil on canvas, 133.5 × 197 cm, The National Gallery, London.

fig. 21 Anthony van Dyck and Frans Snyders, Boar Hunt, ca. 1618–1620, oil on canvas, 191 × 301 cm, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staarlichen Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.

fig. 22 Anthony van Dyck, The Healing of the Paralytic, ca. 1618–1620, oil on canvas, 128 × 156 cm, Staatsgalerie Neuburg an der Donau.

fig. 23 Anthony van Dyck, The Healing of the Paralytic, ca. 1618–1620, oil on canvas, 120 × 148.5 cm, Buckingham Palace, Picture Gallery, London.

fig. 24 Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, Christ Delivering the Keys to St. Peter (Christ’s Charge to St. Peter), ca. 1616, oil on panel, 141 × 115 cm, The Wallace Collection, London.

fig. 25 Anthony van Dyck after Rubens, Christ Delivering the Keys to St. Peter (Christ’s Charge to St. Peter), ca. 1616, pen and brown ink, 16.5 × 14.3 cm, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

fig. 26 Anonymous draughtsman after Rubens, corrected by Rubens, The Battle of the Amazons, ca. 1618, pen and dark brown ink, brush and light grey wash, with white body color, over black chalk, some touches of red chalk, composed of eight sheets, 81 × 102 cm, Christ Church, Oxford.

fig. 27 Anthony van Dyck (?) after Rubens, corrected by Rubens, The Flight of Lot and His Family from Sodom, ca. 1618, black and white chalk, 31.2 × 40.2 cm, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphique, Paris.

fig. 28 Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, The Crucifixion (Coup de Lance), ca. 1619–1620, oil on panel, 429 × 311 cm, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. ← 12 | 13 →

Details

Pages
320
ISBN (PDF)
9783034333740
ISBN (ePUB)
9783034333757
ISBN (MOBI)
9783034333764
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783034333733
Language
English
Publication date
2020 (February)
Published
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019. 320 pp., 161 fig. b/w, 8 fig. col.

Biographical notes

Toshiharu Nakamura (Author) Kayo Hirakawa (Volume editor)

Toshiharu Nakamura (1955–2018) was Professor of Art History at Kyoto University. A specialist in seventeenth- century Dutch and Flemish painting, he published Peter Paul Rubens between Art and Politics (2006), and the exhibition catalogue, Rubens: Inspired by Italy and Established in Antwerp (2013). He was also the editor of Images of Familial Intimacy in Eastern and Western Art (2014).

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Title: Inspiration and Emulation