What Rembrandt saw

The great Protestant painter

Rembrandt’s Eyes, by Simon Schama

In this lavish new book, Simon Schama explores the boisterous, dynamic, capitalist society of 17th-century Holland through the eyes of the artist who, more than any other, has become synonymous with its vividly expressive pictorial culture. This biography of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) provides the pretext for a wide-ranging discussion of an era ripe with invention in science, economics and the arts.

The title of the book, printed on the dust jacket over a close-up of one of Rembrandt’s many penetrating self-portraits, alludes to the power of sight itself, a recurring metaphor (along with its opposite, blindness) both in Rembrandt’s work and in Schama’s elucidation of it.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.