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Inspiration and Emulation

Selected Studies on Rubens and Rembrandt

Toshiharu Nakamura

Edited By Kayo Hirakawa

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.

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Photo Credits and Sources


Pl. 1 (KHM-Museumsverband); pl. 2 (Collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, SN219); pl. 3 (photograph © The State Hermitage Museum. Photo by Yuri Molodkovets); pl. 4 (Mauritshuis, The Hague); pl. 5 (Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main); pl. 6 (photo: Erik Cornelius/Nationalmuseum); pl. 7 (© Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels/photo: J. Geleyns-Art Photography); pl. 8 (© Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas); figs. 1–6, 8–17, 19–35, 37–48, 54–64, 69, 70, 74, 77, 80–86, 88, 92, 93, 95–98, 101–105, 107, 110–120, 122–127, 129–132, 136–139, 141–154, 156–161 (archive of the author); figs. 7, 49, 50, 53, 134, 135 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); figs. 18, 128 (Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington); figs. 36, 51, 52, 71, 78, 87, 99, 100, 106, 121, 140 (© The Trustees of the British Museum), figs. 65–68, 72, 73, 75, 76, 79, 89–91, 94, 108, 109, 133, 155 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam).

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