Item description for Rembrandt's Nose: Of Flesh and Spirit in the Master's Portraits by Michael Taylor...
The year 2006 marked the 400th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest portrait painters that ever lived, the Dutch seventeenth-century master, Rembrandt. Although Rembrandt is among the most important artists in western history, and perhaps our greatest draftsman, no one has ever, until now, been able to pinpoint exactly how it was that he so precisely and effortlessly captured the spiritual essence of his subjects. This insightful, sophisticated and yet accessible illustrated reading-format study, written by the preeminent scholar and translator Michael Taylor, will be as enlightening and delightful to Rembrandt scholars as to lay readers. Taylor looks at Rembrandt's self-portraits, his society portraits, historical paintings and biblical scenes, and identifies how it was that the artist rendered his subjects so alive, so full of earthy, flesh-and-blood vitality--which all boils down to his treatment of the nose. Rembrandt's Nose is a gem of a book, an intimate, candid and extremely entertaining engagement with the works of art themselves, interwoven with racy historical snippets that contextualize the artist's breakthroughs and techniques. It includes some 49 reproductions, as well as a complete chronology of Rembrandt's life.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 7.75" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2007
Publisher D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
ISBN 1933045442 ISBN13 9781933045443
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael Taylor
Taylor, Reader in Government, University of Essex.
Michael Taylor has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Rembrandt's Nose: Of Flesh and Spirit in the Master's Portraits?
NOT JUST on NOSES Dec 21, 2007
I finished this book in two days. A short book, very focused, not just on noses, but on the spirit that stirred in the painter and those he painted. He was a genius whose work will doubtless remain on a pinnacle of human achievement as long as we appreciate painting as an art. A genius not only because of his prodigious talent, but because of his willingness to depict the fallibility, vast range, and transience of human existence.
His was not an easy life. The deaths of his first wife and two of his daughters; the rejections of others combined with his poor judgment that led to his insolvency. The rough competition from former students, the way he was betrayed and was seen as the betrayer by his first mistress and some of his most important clients.
He was able to depict whatever rose up within and without him. Lust, fear, madness, sadness, tenderness, pride, vanity, serenity, murderousness, resignation, smugness.... all those ways of showing our humanness and many more.
He was Whitmanesque in his putting on the mantle of humanity. But Whitman bragged about it: "I am this and I am that". While Rembrandt felt and saw all the nuances of what it is to be a human being, laid it out in paint and etchings, and left it for us to see for ourselves.
My thanks to Michael Taylor for his having shared his scholarship and intense interest and appreciation for Rembrandt with us.
spiritus lenis Aug 21, 2007
I am looking at a digital reproduction of the Rembrandt I know best. I've been close to it at The Frick. It is one from his later, impoverished years. His expression unyielding despite soft, unsettled strokes. Many of the painter's portraits and self-portraits present the sitter's eyes as equally alive as the nose. When visible, the eyes live up to the widely understood role as points of entry into a soul. In the Rembrandts where the eyes are obscured as in the late great at The Frick, what insists, I've realized after reading Michael Taylor's book, is the nose! Taylor contends and has made a believer of this non-specialist, that the nose contains the irrepressible soul's assertion of itself. Not since Gogol's short story has the nose been so animated (the distinguishing quality of the one belonging to Cyrano was its size and nothing more, and the same goes for C.D. in Roxanne). What Taylor does for me is bring back together soul and breath, once one in the root "spiritus" before linguistic distinction. As for the writing, I found Taylor's prose engaging, accessible and like a Rembrandt, devoid of an esoteric language and satisfyingly human in Taylor's undeniable love for the work. This is no systematic, formal exposition of Rembrandt van Rijn. It reads as a collection of short, interconnected poetic meditations. The contents page is a poem in itself. Add to cart. Know for yourself the delight, and slight embarrassment it's given me.