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Émile Verhaeren: Essays on the Northern Renaissance

Rembrandt, Rubens, Grünewald and Others- Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Albert Alhadeff


Edited By Albert Alhadeff

Émile Verhaeren (1855–1916), art critic, poet and homme de lettres, was a man whose vision transcended his native Belgium. With close ties to Mallarmé in France and Rilke in Germany, Verhaeren, a peripatetic student of the arts, readily traveled to Paris, Berlin, Cassel, Vienna and Amsterdam. From the mid-1880s until his death in 1916, his many trips abroad resulted in a raft of essays and short monographs on the arts of the Northern Renaissance. Yet, despite the insights, scholarship and markedly precise and revealing descriptions of these studies, they have long been neglected in art historical circles, overshadowed, perhaps, by Verhaeren’s own poetic outpourings and his numerous essays on contemporary art.
In this book, Albert Alhadeff translates, edits, annotates and contextualizes these often brilliant and always revealing studies on artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Memling, Bruegel and Grünewald, masters from the North who worked mostly in Flanders, Holland and Germany in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As Alhadeff reveals, Verhaeren’s studies of the masters of old in Germany, Flanders and the newly born Dutch Republic are as much about Verhaeren the man as they are about the subjects of his inquiries.


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Acknowledgments ix IntroductIon 1 PArt 1 Rembrandt 55 from Rembrandt (Paris: Henri Laurens, 1904) Netherlandish Art 93 from the Journal des Beaux-Arts et de la Littérature, May 1882 PArt 2 Rubens 105 from Pierre-Paul Rubens (Brussels: Librairie Nouvelle d’Art et d’Histoire), 1910 Rubens and His World 121 from “Exposition de Bruxelles: Hommage aux Peintres,” Le Siècle de Rubens (Brussels: Ém. Rossel, 1910) Van der Meer 123 from L’Art moderne, 4 October 1891 PArt 3 Grünewald 129 from La Société nouvelle, December 1894 The German Gothic 149 from L‘Art moderne, 15 August, 1886 PArt 4 Flemish Painting 155 from the Revue encyclopédique, 24 July, 1897 Hans Memling 165 from Le Monde moderne, July 1899 Pieter Bruegel: Flemish Life 173 from Les Annales, 15 December 1913, 50-60

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