Jg. 5, rubensbulletin KONINKLIJK MUSEUM VOOR SCHONE KUNSTEN ANTWERPEN

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1 Jg. 5, 2014 rubensbulletin KONINKLIJK MUSEUM VOOR SCHONE KUNSTEN ANTWERPEN

2 Cataloguing Rubens and Rembrandt. A Closer Look at the Corpus Rubenianum and the Rembrandt Research Project Koen Bulckens The Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard (crlb) and the Rembrandt Research Project (rrp) both aim to compile a catalogue raisonné of a seventeenth-century painter: Peter Paul Rubens on the one hand and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn on the other. They were both founded in the 1960s, in Belgium and the Netherlands respectively, and have assembled an indisputably important body of information, which will remain a crucial resource for research into the oeuvres of both artists. These similarities aside, there is a marked difference in the reception of the two projects. The rrp has enjoyed considerable interest in academic circles, as well as in the museum world and the general press ever since it was launched. This is reflected in a long list of publications on the Rembrandt Project, the vast majority of them critical. The crlb, by contrast, has in the words of Richard Shone kept a lower public profile, while keeping an undisputed reputation in academic circles. 1 Book reviews of The bulk of this text was written in 2011, in the form of a master s thesis supervised by Arnout Balis. I wish to thank him for his critical feedback and for providing me with details of the history of the crlb that had not been published thus far. For practical reasons, this text had to be submitted before the last volume of the Rembrandt Corpus was published. This means that a thorough discussion of this volume, and of its reception, are not included. However, Ernst van de Wetering was so kind as to provide the manuscript for his chapter on the history of the rrp, to which references have been added. I thank him for this, as well as for his crucial comments on an earlier version of this text. I am also grateful to Stephanie Dickey and Christopher White. The remarks and suggestions of these esteemed Rembrandt scholars have been exceptionally helpful, as I have focused almost exclusively on Rubens in the past years. A last word of thanks goes to Walter Liedtke, who sadly passed away recently. As his critiques of the rrp and views on Rembrandt s workshop are cited in this chapter on multiple occasions, I had sent him a draft of it. Expecting only a few minor suggestions, I received an elaborate evaluation of the text s form and content, reflecting the thoroughness, eloquence and wit that characterized his scholarly writing. His comments have greatly benefited the final result. 1 [Editorial], The Apotheosis of Rubens, The Burlington Magazine 146 (2004), p

3 crlb volumes are published and the odd informative article appears, but there has been no fundamental critique of the project as such. As Caroline Elam has stated, it is worth asking why the longer-running and equally official Corpus Rubenianum has escaped the intense criticism that has been focused on the Rembrandt Research Project. 2 Time and again the differences between both projects provide a topic for lively conversation among scholars. Yet in print, comparisons between the two catalogues have been limited to a handful of marginal remarks (most of which are cited in these pages). A closer look at these influential projects can teach us how and why the differences between them originated, which can in turn improve our understanding of them. Firstly, this article will address the methodology and objectives of the two projects, based on the two corpora and articles published by members of both projects. As we shall see, the rrp s methodology has been discussed at length on several occasions. Nevertheless, a synthetic account of it is included to contrast it adequately with the methodology of the crlb. While outlining the methods and goals of both projects, the significant critiques and comments made regarding them will be summed up. Secondly, the differences will be explained by looking at the artistic practices of Rubens and Rembrandt and the scholarly traditions regarding them. I have sought to analyse the two projects critically, but without judging them. On those rare occasions when this does happen, I hope it is amply clear that any criticism on my part is far outweighed by my admiration for the research both projects have produced. The Rembrandt Research Project ( ) The Rembrandt Research Project was officially launched on 1 January The initiative came from Bob Haak ( ), chief curator of the 2 [Editorial], The Rembrandt Re-Trial, The Burlington Magazine 134 (1992), p The crlb started in 1963 and the rrp in By saying that the former is longer-running, Elam refers to the fact that its first volume appeared in 1968, while the first volume of the Rembrandt Corpus appeared in Fig. 1 The members of the Rembrandt Research Project in From left to right: Jan Gerrit van Gelder, Lideke Peese Binkhorst, Simon Levie, Bob Haak, Ernst van de Wetering, Josua Bruyn and Pieter van Thiel. Amsterdams Historisch Museum, who contacted Josua Bruyn ( ), Professor of Art History at Amsterdam University, to help materialize his plan. The project was to be carried out by a team of six Dutch art historians. Bruyn was the chairman, and was supported by Haak; Simon Levie, director of the Amsterdams Historisch Museum; Pieter van Thiel ( ), chief curator of the Paintings Department at the Rijks museum; Jan Gerrit van Gelder ( ), Professor of Art History at Utrecht University; and Jan Emmens ( ), also Professor of Art History at Utrecht University. Lideke Peese Binkhorst Hoffscholte was hired as a secretary for the rrp, but gradually started researching provenances and reproductive prints. Emmens was to have focused on Rembrandt s iconography, 94 95

4 but he died prematurely. 3 Ernst van de Wetering was initially involved in the project as an assistant, but when Van Gelder had to forgo the first research trip due to illness, Van de Wetering replaced him. He became an official member of the team in Van Gelder, being the oldest member, increasingly withdrew from the rrp in the years prior to his death, although he continued to share his expertise with the researchers. Attributions are the Rembrandt Corpus s raison d être: the rrp set out to compile a chronological catalogue of all works completely painted by Rembrandt. Every other aspect of the research is there to serve this purpose. The Rembrandt Corpus only discusses paintings, unlike the crlb, which also addresses woodcuts, engravings and tapestries. 4 Each Rembrandt Corpus volume is prefaced by several essays, the majority of them dealing with authorship. 5 The larger share of each lengthy entry has to do with technical observations, providing a detailed analysis of the works from the support up to the varnish layer. In terms of iconography, the rrp has mostly limited itself to a status quaestionis, as no new iconographic specialist was appointed after Emmens s death. 6 Provenance is also explored and sources mentioning the relevant painting are collated. Copies are only discussed if they are of historical or art-historical interest, and prints only if they appeared before At first, the rrp had high hopes that scientific research would help refine Rembrandt s oeuvre, 7 because the team expected to find many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century works in the alleged Rembrandt canon. However, the majority of the works turned out to be painted in the seventeenth century. Since the technical aspects of Rembrandt s paintings did not seem to differ substantially from those of his studio or school, the 3 Van de Wetering 2005, p. xx; Van de Wetering 2014, for Haak s initiative, see pp Drawings and prints by Rembrandt are listed under the relevant catalogue entries. 5 The following titles of essays illustrate their typical subject-matter: Painting Materials and Working Techniques, Stylistic Features of the 1630s: the Portraits, Problems of Apprenticeship and Studio Collaboration and A Selection of Signatures. 6 Bruyn, Preface, p. xiii. Christian Tümpel and Collin Campbell both made their unpublished doctoral thesis dealing with Rembrandt iconography available for the rrp, and provided the team with fruitful discussions. 7 Bruyn, Preface, pp. x xi; Van de Wetering 2005, p. xi. rrp concluded that scientific research was of limited use for attributing works. 8 Nevertheless, these methods like dendrochronology, X-radiography and infrared photography, (and later) thread count and chemical analysis of the paint layer remained a substantial point of attention for the rrp. For the actual attributions the Rembrandt researchers had to fall back on connoisseurship. However, the rrp famously wanted to give this method firmer foundations by using rational and communicable arguments. During the first phase of the project, from 1968 to 1972, the team members travelled around the world in varying pairs to study a long-list of 611 works. 9 The intention was to learn and describe the features including purely physical features of each painting, seen as an object, as fully as possible. 10 Walter Liedtke and Christopher White commented that it is impossible to produce such objective descriptions, as observation is consistently driven by knowledge and therefore cannot be separated from interpretation. 11 The rrp was aware of this, anticipating this criticism in a sense, 12 but continued to pursue objective description nevertheless. From these descriptions, they derived the characteristics of Rembrandt s stylistic identity, which were used as criteria for deciding whether or not 8 On September 1969 the rrp held a Symposium on Technical Aspects of Rembrandt Paintings in collaboration with the Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, which focused on the potential application of technical research to issues of authenticity. An unpublished summary of the proceedings was compiled by Renate Keller. Van de Wetering 2005, p. xi n. 12. For a substantial account of it, see: Van de Wetering 2014, pp Bruyn, Preface, p. x. The project adopted Abraham Bredius Rembrandt catalogue of 1935 as its starting point. All 611 paintings that Bredius had attributed to Rembrandt were examined, along with several works discovered after The rrp announced in the second volume that due to a lack of time, and sceptical opinions about some of the paintings catalogued by Bredius, it would limit itself to Horst Gerson s Rembrandt catalogue of 1968, which counted only 420 Rembrandts. In 2005 Van de Wetering decided to expand the number of studied works to the Bredius catalogue again. 10 Bruyn, Preface, p. xi. 11 Liedtke 1989; White Bruyn, Preface, p. xvi. The rrp discovered, for instance, after about five years of research that Rembrandt systematically worked up his paintings from the back to the front. However, in the descriptions of paintings made before this discovery, there was no mention of this working method. For a detailed account, see Van de Wetering 2014, pp ,

5 to attribute a painting to Rembrandt. 13 Leonard Slatkes, 14 among others, considered that these criteria were often a straitjacket that left insufficient scope for variation. He added that Rembrandt is being held to standards of authenticity that are considerably higher than those currently being utilized for Rubens [in the crlb]. The information accumulated during the first phase of the project began to be processed in A suitable form of editing and presentation was sought, 15 which resulted in a somewhat rigid structure for the catalogue entries and in the notorious abc system, by which the works were classified. 16 Category A consists of works that the rrp considers to be autograph Rembrandts. Category B is made up of works for which it could neither securely confirm nor refute Rembrandt s authorship. Category C is for the non-rembrandts. The rrp initially felt it was wrong to treat studio works, works from the school of Rembrandt and possible later forgeries as a homogeneous group. In a number of cases, however, they considered it impossible to determine whether the Rembrandtesque aspect in a work [was] the result of a deliberate (or even fraudulent) choice, or the result of Rembrandt s direct influence on pupils or followers. 17 (The consequences and criticism of this system are discussed below.) The main reason why the rrp consisted of a team of researchers was that the thoroughness it pursued was too labour-intensive for one person. A second motivation for the approach related to connoisseurship. The 13 Bruyn, Preface, p. xii. An example of these criteria can be found in Van de Wetering s analysis of the way lace is painted in several portraits from Rembrandt s studio. The focus is not on the shape of the lace as such, nor on the formal aspects of the brushwork, but rather on the way in which the paint was used to convey the illusion of lace. In other words, they consist of the relation between what is painted and how it is painted. Van de Wetering 1986, esp. pp Van de Wetering later argued that Bruyn tended to use criteria that were based on a modern conception of the peinture referring to the graphological brushwork as such, without a consideration of the depicted subject. Van de Wetering 2014, pp (For a discussion of the circular reasoning in deducing characteristics for the evaluation of Rembrandt s oeuvre from the oeuvre itself, see pp ) 14 Slatkes 1989; Christopher White and Seymour Slive expressed similar thoughts in an interview: S. Hochfield, Rembrandt: the unvarnished truth?, Artnews 86, no. 10 (1987), p Bruyn, Preface, p. x. 16 Liedtke Bruyn, Preface, xix xx. If there was certainty that a work originated in Rembrandt s workshop, this could be mentioned in the catalogue entry. rrp wanted to achieve solid attributions by discussing, communicating and testing ideas in a group context. 18 If one or more team members did not concur, this could be indicated in the catalogue entry as a dissenting opinion, to counteract the potential effect of peer pressure. 19 The rrp s teamwork attracted a great deal of criticism. Slatkes, for instance, felt that a group is more inclined to take a decision while an individual may still have doubts. 20 Liedtke stated that the fact that the rrp speaks with five voices removes individual responsibility, making their attributions always unanimous and hence anonymous. 21 Arthur Wheelock 22 commented on the team s configuration, which created a situation in which it was too much a case of a Dutch team versus the rest of the world. In his view, the rrp would have encountered less resistance if it had been more international in character. 23 The New Rembrandt Research Project (1993 ) The first volume of the Rembrandt Corpus was eventually published in 1982, followed by the second in 1986 and the third in Together, they covered Rembrandt s oeuvre up to and including The Night Watch (1642). By the time the third volume had appeared, the project had already overrun its original schedule by ten years. In 1993, the four older members of the rrp Bruyn, Haak, Levie and Van Thiel announced their resigna- 18 Ibid., pp. x xi. 19 Ibid., p. xvii. In the first volume, dissenting opinions were voiced under catalogue numbers I A 22, I C 22 and I C 26. All of them were written by Van de Wetering. 20 Slatkes 1989, p Liedtke 1989, p In an interview: Bailey Claus Grimm in turn argued that the bulk of the critical voices against the rrp came from within the us. See Grimm This can in part be related to the fact that two of the most disputed rejections of the rrp were in us collections, namely the Portrait of a Man and the Portrait of a Woman in the Metropolitan Museum (discussed below) and The Polish Rider in the Frick Collection. For the controversy around the latter painting, see Bailey The Polish Rider was eventually included in the Rembrandt Corpus (V 22) as Rembrandt (with later additions)

6 Fig. 2 Rembrandt, Self-Portrait. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna tion. 24 The prolonged nature of the project meant they were now of an age at which it was no longer easy to perform or publish research. There were disagreements too regarding methodology. Van de Wetering called for a new approach to study the paintings made after 1642, but was un able to persuade the others. It was announced that Van de Wetering would continue the project, which he himself confirmed. 25 Because the changes 24 J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie & P.J.J. Van Thiel, The Rembrandt Research Project, The Burlington Magazine 135 (1993), p Van de Wetering The new course is only outlined in this letter; for a detailed account, see E. van de Wetering and P. Broekhoff, New Directions in the Rembrandt Research Project Van de Wetering carried out were so far-reaching, he made a distinction between the Old rrp ( ) and the New rrp (since 1993). Despite those changes, the rrp s prime directive remains to define the extent of Rembrandt s painted oeuvre using all methods available. 26 Van de Wetering did not opt for another team of authors in the new rrp. He is the auctor intellectualis of the project and takes the editorial responsibility for the Corpus as a whole. He did formalize ties with experts who had already worked with the rrp for some time and attracted new assistants. 27 These collaborators write occasional catalogue entries, perform research into particular aspects of Rembrandt s oeuvre, or provide contributions in the shape of an essay. However, Van de Wetering is solely responsible for the attributions. Van de Wetering believes that disappointment with scientific research in the early days of the rrp led the project to fall back too quickly on connoisseurship. An overly narrow reliance on stylistic criteria has occasionally meant that more objective information derived from scientific or historical research was rationalized away. 28 Van de Wetering argues that a large amount of comparative material has since become available, making scientific research more useful. 29 Arguments of this kind can never be decisive in themselves, but Van de Wetering believes that they can, taken together, point in a certain direction. The aim of the new rrp is to deploy connoisseurship and criteria such as style and quality only after all the more objective methods have been exhausted. 30 The degree of certainty of the attributions will reflect the balance between more objective arguments and connoisseurship. Van de Wetering wants to avoid an a priori picture of Rembrandt s style so as to retain an open view of the Part I: The Self-Portrait in the Royal Collection, The Burlington Magazine 138 (1996), pp ; Van de Wetering 2005, pp. ix xxi; Van de Wetering Van de Wetering 1993, p See Van de Wetering 1993; Van de Wetering 2014, pp The team would subsequently fluctuate considerably. Specialists that had already contributed to the rrp included Peter Klein (dendrochronology) and Karin Groen (microscopic research). New assistants included Marieke van Winkel (costume history) and Jaap van der Veen (authorship in the seventeenth century). 28 Van de Wetering 2005, pp. xii xiii. 29 Van de Wetering 2008, p Van de Wetering 2005, p. xvi

7 painter. 31 The abc system was also discarded. Category B had been the smallest throughout the first three volumes, while it ought given the subjective nature of connoisseurship to have been the largest. Van de Wetering stressed that this was not the result of scholarly arrogance on the part of the Old rrp, but of an unconscious response to the social need for the greatest possible clarity relating to the art-historical, museological or financial value of a work of art. 32 Category C, meanwhile, was too disparate. Van de Wetering no longer considered it appropriate to discuss paintings from Rembrandt s studio on the same footing as later works in Rembrandt s style. Where Bruyn claimed it was not possible to distinguish between these two categories, Van de Wetering thinks this can be done through scientific research. He wants to treat the studio works in relation to Rembrandt s paintings, as knowledge of when, where, and for what purpose [they] were done can lead to a fresh understanding of the autograph oeuvre. 33 Rembrandt s oeuvre is no longer dealt with chronologically in the new volumes, but thematically, considering self-portraits; commissioned portraits; tronies; small-scale history, genre and landscape paintings; and large-scale history paintings. 34 Van de Wetering s motivation for this somewhat curious typology, is that these types of paintings all require specific skills on the painter s part. Therefore, Van de Wetering claims that studying works by these themes is a useful way of discerning the painter s pictorial ideas, which can in turn be helpful when evaluating authenticity. 35 (It ought to be noted that Bruyn already stated in the first volume that, for the period in Amsterdam, it [would] be sensible to discuss homogeneous groups [of paintings] each spanning a greater number of years. 36 ) The initial plan was to treat the five thematic clusters in two volumes. However, the self-portraits and the small-scale works ended up filling volumes IV and V respectively. The remaining works were all treated in volume VI (see below). 31 Van de Wetering 2008, p Van de Wetering 2005, p. xviii. 33 Ibid., p. ix. 34 Van de Wetering 2014, p Van de Wetering 2005, p. xvii; Van de Wetering 2014, pp. 50, Bruyn, Preface, p. xix. It does not come as a surprise that the new course was welcomed, now that some of the controversial methodological novelties of the Old rrp had been discarded. 37 Nevertheless, Liedtke did not consider it desirable that the structure of the catalogue changed halfway through. 38 Also, the fact that the new approach resulted in several new attributions, re-attributions to Rembrandt to be more specific, led Christopher Brown to fear that the Old rrp s restrictive attitude had made way for an excessive inclusiveness. 39 The bulk of intense criticism of the rrp, however, appeared in the 1990s. Today there is a comparative silence around the project, which will probably be broken now that the last volume has appeared. This volume consists of a chronological overview of all the works Van de Wetering at this point in time considers to be painted wholly or partially by Rembrandt (crp vi, p. ix). Only the paintings of which the attribution is assessed anew will get a lengthy entry. The Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard The story of the crlb begins with that of the German art historian Ludwig Burchard ( ). From the 1920s on, Burchard was considered the foremost authority on Rubens, in academic circles and the museum world, as well as by collectors and dealers. Burchard planned to write a catalogue raisonné of Rubens s oeuvre, which he began to document in extreme detail. 40 This colossal project, however, remained unfinished for two reasons. The first was the Second World War. Having a Jewish mother, Burchard was forced to emigrate, as were many German scholars with Jewish roots of his generation. He moved to London in Also, during 37 See White In an interview: S. Hochfield, What is a real Rembrandt?, Artnews 103, no. 2 (2004), p C. Brown, The Rembrandt Year, The Burlington Magazine 149 (2007), p Vlieghe The most thorough biographical account is Baudouin The article is included in English, alongside recent contributions about Burchard and his circle, in Nijkamp, Bulckens and Valkeneers (forthcoming). For the early history of the Corpus Rubenianum, see C. Van de Velde, Corpus Rubenianum, The Centrum voor de Vlaamse Kunst van de 16e en 17e eeuw, The Rubenianum Quarterly, 2010, no. 2, p

8 the war many works of art changed hands, disappeared, or resurfaced, which meant that Burchard had to bring his documentation up to date. The second reason lay, as Roger-A. d Hulst put it, in [Burchard s] own personality: in his extreme scrupulousness, his never satisfied quest for more detailed and more solid information. 41 Following Burchard s death, his widow, Lina Burchard, donated his archive to the City of Antwerp. It has been kept at the Rubenianum, the documentation centre belonging to the city, since It was agreed that Burchard s documentation would be published as a posthumous work, edited by the Centrum Rubenianum, 43 an institution founded in 1961 by Roger-A. d Hulst ( ), professor at Ghent University and curator of the Brussels Museum of Fine Arts, and Frans Baudouin ( ), curator of the Kunsthistorische Musea in Antwerp. Burchard s archive contains a wealth of photographs, excerpts from literature and sale catalogues, references to the visual and literary sources used by Rubens, remarks on iconography, provenance, and so on. 44 This immense body of information was, however, not at all ready for publication. It first needed to be thoroughly and critically examined and collated a task that ended up taking several years. 45 Relevant publications that Fig. 3 Frans Baudouin, Ludwig Burchard and Roger-A. d'hulst at the Belgian Art Seminar in Antwerp in d Hulst and Baudouin 1968, p. viii. 42 Ibid., p. ix. The contract for the transfer of the archive was signed in London on 4 July 1962 and the Belgian government gave its official approval on 14 June F. Baudouin, Het Rubenianum, Tijdschrift der Stad Antwerpen 15, no. 1 (1969), p. 13. Initially it was stated that the Centrum would be assisted by Burchard s son, Wolfgang Burchard. However, his co-editorship was not expected to result in substantial contributions. The Centrum Rubenianum was formerly named the Centrum voor de Vlaamse Kunst van de 16e en 17e eeuw (Centre for Flemish Art of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries). Its objective was the promotion of the study of Flemish art in that period. Following the transfer of the Burchard documentation, however, publication of the crlb became its primary occupation. The Centrum is an independent institution, whereas the Rubenianum is administered by the City of Antwerp. The Centrum is responsible for research and the writing of the Corpus, using the documentation collected and preserved by the Rubenianum. Both institutions are housed in the same building in Kolveniersstraat in Antwerp. 44 For a detailed account of the archive, see L. Nijkamp, On the Record(s): Burchard s Material Legacy, in Nijkamp, Bulckens and Valkeneers (forthcoming). For some remarks about its practical use for the authors, see A. Balis, Rubens jachttaferelen: bedenkingen bij een onderzoek, Academiae Analecta: Klasse der Schone Kunsten 47 (1986), pp F. Baudouin, Le Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard et le Rubeniaunum, Revue de culture néerlandaise, no. 3 (1977), p. 79; B. Grauman, Rounding up Rubens, artnews januari 1988, p. 35. had appeared since Burchard s death also needed to be incorporated. It was therefore decided in 1967 in consultation with the Burchard family to publish the catalogue as the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard. 46 In Carl Van de Velde s words, they originally thought it would be Burchard s book as edited by us. Now it has become more of the authors book, which includes Burchard s opinion. And as time goes on, the authors become more important than Burchard. 47 The crlb consists of twenty-nine volumes. 48 It breaks down largely on iconographic lines, although certain volumes deal with a particular 46 R.-A. d Hulst, Het Nationaal Centrum voor de Plastische Kunsten in de 16e en 17e eeuw en de Rubensstudie, Tijdschrift der Stad Antwerpen 15, no. 1 (1969), p In an interview: Soltz 2007, p It was initially thought that twenty-six volumes would suffice

9 commission (e.g. vol. I, The Ceiling Paintings for the Jesuit Church in Antwerp) and others with Rubens s work in a particular medium (e.g. vol. xxi, Book Illustrations and Title Pages). The volumes dealing with a commission take the form of a monograph with a catalogue section. The other parts are conceived as a catalogue with substantive essays. It was initially hoped that the crlb would be authored by the staff of the Centrum, with d Hulst and Baudouin as editors. The staff members, all young art historians from Belgian academia, 49 would be trained in this specific branch of art history, which would have the effect of speeding up publication. As this approach proved financially unsustainable, however, it was opted instead to collaborate with a range of national and international authors. 50 Researchers were sought to this end who had already built up expertise relevant to a particular part of the Corpus. 51 They would be assisted in their research by staff at the Centrum, who also assumed the role of editor. Authors of the crlb have to provide their own funding, and receive from the Centrum only a symbolic fee upon completion of their manuscript. This rather loose nature of the collaboration was not exactly conducive to the rhythm of publication. Shortage of staff on the Centrum s end also caused several manuscripts to be edited with a substantial delay. 52 The crlb s recruitment of a succession of international authors has anchored the project more firmly in the wider field of Rubens scholarship than the rrp is in that of Rembrandt studies. It should be noted, however, that d Hulst and Baudouin excluded the three prominent Rubens experts of the 1960s and 70s namely Michael Jaffé ( ), Julius Held ( ) and Justus Müller Hofstede out of concern that they would dominate the project. 53 Christopher Brown 49 The earliest of them were Carl Van de Velde (in 1960), Hans Vlieghe (1968) and Nora de Poorter (1968). Technically the latter was employed by the Rubenianum (as opposed to the Centrum Rubenianum), but she was engaged in the activities of the Centrum nevertheless. 50 d Hulst and Baudouin 1968, pp. xi xii. 51 A typical example of this is Svetlana Alpers, who completed a doctoral dissertation on Rubens s paintings for the Torre de la Parada, before authoring the crlb volume (ix) on the same subject. 52 This changed with the birth of the Rubenianum Fund in 2012, which came into being thanks to the Belgian businessman Thomas Leysen. Authors now get travel fees, and three editorial assistants were hired. The aim of the fund is to finish the crlb by Later prolific Rubens scholars who are not among the circa thirty-five authors that have has cited the varying authorship as both the strength of the crlb and its weakness. 54 On the one hand, the outside expertise and different approaches are a positive factor. On the other, Brown considers the crlb to be markedly uneven, even though he rates its general standard highly. Indeed, because the series has been written by varying authors and the different volumes sometimes require a different approach, the Corpus Rubenianum forms less of a monolithic whole than the Rembrandt Corpus does. The reader should therefore bear in mind that it is sometimes misleading to talk about the crlb. The crlb aims to approach Rubens s oeuvre from a multitude of angles. Baudouin stated that the coherence between the first fleeting design drawings and the more detailed studies and oil sketches should be made clear. The intellectual background to certain subjects with which we are no longer familiar must be established. The historical circumstances in which the works of art were created need to be identified. The motifs the artist borrowed from classical sculpture and the masters of the Italian Renaissance must be indicated, and so forth. 55 Because there is an emphasis on iconography and the historical context, Liedtke has stated that, once completed, the crlb will also be useful in fields other than Rubens research. 56 Francis Haskell likewise wrote that Elizabeth McGrath s volume on Rubens s history paintings will be of considerable value to everyone interested in the nature and purpose of historical subjects throughout Europe between the early sixteenth and the late eighteenth centuries. 57 Attribution also has its place within the multipronged approach to contributed to a crlb volume so far include Christopher Brown, Anne-Marie Logan, Jeffrey Muller, Konrad Renger and Christopher White. 54 Brown 1987, p Brown praises David Freedberg s volume (The Life of Christ after the Passion), which is the subject of his review. A similar remark is given by C. White, [Review] N. De Poorter, crlb, vol. ii, The Eucharist Series, Turnhout 1978, Apollo 113, no. 228 (1981), p F. Baudouin, Het Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, een nieuwe kritische catalogus van Rubens werk, de Syllabus, maandblad voor wetenschap en kunsten 13, no. 8 (1969), p In an interview: Soltz 2007, p Liedtke specifically mentions Belkin s volume on Rubens s costume book (vol. xxiv) and that of Van der Meulen discussing Rubens s copies after the antique (vol. xxiii). 57 Haskell 1998, p

10 Rubens s oeuvre, albeit as one issue amongst many. Soltz has remarked that the cautious nature of the crlb s catalogue entries certainly when it comes to the question of authorship is remarkable compared with that of the rrp. 58 This cautious tone was perceived as something positive, as was the fact that the views of other authors in this regard are included. 59 A range of voices is, moreover, already inherent in the collaboration that underpins the crlb, in which three different figures are active: the author of the volume, the Centrum (which acts as editor) and Ludwig Burchard (whose opinion consistently has to be stated). Because of this, the Corpus promotes several, sometimes differing, points of view in terms of attribution. White feels that this way of working creates a tension between the author and Ludwig Burchard. It is not clear, he believes, whether [Burchard s] opinion regarding matters of attribution is to have priority over that of the author of the individual volume, creating what he calls an underlying editorial uncertainty. 60 Some reviewers have also commented that there is a lack of technical descriptions and observations of the paintings condition. 61 Moreover, the attributions presented in the crlb especially in the earlier volumes are not supported by lengthy arguments. Often an author would simply state that a painting was entirely by Rubens, or for the most part by the workshop. According to Brown, the crlb has in this regard much to learn from the Rembrandt Corpus. 62 A number of reviewers also pointed out that certain paintings were discussed on the basis of a photograph. 63 These were all individual Fig. 4 Rubens, Self-Portrait. Rubenshuis, Antwerp 58 Soltz 2007, p J. Zutter, [Review] J.R. Martin, crlb, vol. xvi, The Decorations for the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi, Turnhout 1972, Pantheon (1975), p. 373; Brown 1987, p. 404; J. Furgeson, [Review] A. Balis, crlb, vol. xii (2), Hunting Scenes, Turnhout 1986, Royal Society Journal (January 1988), p. 148; M. Russel, [Review] H. Vlieghe, crlb, vol. xix (2), Portraits after Identified Sitters Painted in Antwerp, Turnhout 1987, Apollo (April 1989), p. 293; I. Herklotz, [Review] M. Van der Meulen, crlb, vol. xxiii, Copies after the Antique, Turnhout 1994, The Burlington Magazine 138 (1996), p. 197; C. White, [Review] M. Van der Meulen, crlb, vol. xxiii (1 3), Copies after the Antique, Turnhout 1994, Master Drawings 34, no. 3 (1996), p. 309; Haskell 1998, p White 2002a. Similar remarks were given by Konrad Renger and Christin Göttler: Renger 1988; Göttler Martin 1970, p. 543; Renger 1988, p. 568; Brown 1991, p Brown 1991, p Martin 1970, p. 543; E. Young, [Review] S. Alpers, crlb, vol. ix, The Decoration of the Torre de la cases, which were nevertheless accessible in public collections. As noted, however, it is misleading to refer to the crlb: White has cited the technical descriptions in several volumes as a strong point. 64 The goal of the rrp has been seen as resolving the Rembrandt canon once and for all, on the basis of quasi-objective arguments. The novel Parada, Turnhout 1971, Apollo 95, no. 121 (1972), p. 229; C. Scribner, [Review] N. De Poorter, crlb, vol. ii, The Eucharist Series, Turnhout 1978, The Burlington Magazine 122 (1980), p. 773; White White 1985/86; White 2002b

11 methods and their inherent claims for objectivity were the prime targets of the rrp s critics. Slatkes remarked that this was already the case before the first volume of the Rembrandt Corpus was published, because the rrp had a thoroughly restrictive attitude towards Rembrandt s oeuvre. 65 Although the rrp stated early on that its picture of Rembrandt was by no means intended as definitive, 66 in retrospect Bruyn admitted that the Rembrandt Corpus was indeed a book of rather firm decisions. 67 It should be added, however, that the rrp was praised for collecting a thorough and exhaustive body of information, certainly concerning the technical aspects of Rembrandt s oeuvre. The crlb continued to work in a traditional fashion, and as a result the project did not cause the same kind of uproar as the rrp did. Moreover, attributions were formulated with caution, which was a feature of the crlb that was widely approved, although some reviewers felt the need for a firmer stance and lengthier argument, or a more thorough consideration of Rubens s paintings as crafted objects. The main focus of the crlb, however, was not on attributions. Rather, that was one of the issues considered alongside others, under which iconography and historical context figured most prominently. The difference in the consideration of authorship, which is de facto one of the key aspects of a catalogue raisonné, is intriguing. We will now look at how this can be explained. did you count? 68 There is a similar tradition of counting autograph Rembrandts in the Rembrandt literature. Frances L. Preston noted that significantly more corpora have been published of Rembrandt s oeuvre than of other artists. 69 Nine of these had appeared before the start of the rrp, all of which aimed to inventorize all the works entirely painted by Rembrandt. Five of them were illustrated lists, consisting of a series of mediocre black-and-white illustrations accompanied by a title, dating, measurements and some occasional notes. 70 Time and again the number of Rembrandts counted in these volumes is mentioned in the literature. 71 Rubens catalogues, by contrast, are fewer in number. Only four had appeared before the start of the crlb (the fourth being a revised edition of the third). 72 What is more important, however, is that these catalogues also included paintings that were not (or not entirely) by the master s own hand, but were nevertheless produced in his studio. The exact number of autograph paintings does not really seem to matter in this case. This divergence brings us to the artists workshops. In the case of Rubens it is generally assumed that he produced a substantial proportion of his oeuvre with the help of his assistants. 73 Traditionally, four types of collaboration are distinguished in his studio s output. The first group The workshops and their output Hubert von Sonnenburg recalled how, having viewed the Rembrandt exhibition in Chicago in 1969, everyone asked each other: How many 65 Slatkes 1989, p Slive and White have emphasized that not all of the Rembrandt team s rejections came as a surprise. M. Esterow, Seymour Slive: Each Age Constructs a Different Rembrandt, Artnews 92, no. 7 (1993), p. 48; White 1987, p Grijzenhout commented that among the 94 paintings discussed in the first volume 44 were rejected, 33 of which had already been omitted in Gerson s catalogue. Grijzenhout 2007, p Bruyn, Preface, p. xx. 67 In an interview: Bailey 1994, p H. von Sonnenburg, On Condition, in H. von Sonnenburg, W. Liedtke (et al.), Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt: Aspects of Connoisseurship (exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), New York 1995, p F. L. Preston, Rembrandt s Paintings: the Development of an Oeuvre, Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, New York 1993, p Smith (1836), Bode (1883), Bode and Hofstede de Groot ( ), Valentiner (1909) (illustrated list), Hofstede de Groot (1915), Bredius (1935) (illustrated list), Bauch (1966) (illustrated list), Gerson (1968) (illustrated list), Bredius revised by Gerson (1969) (illustrated list). It should be noted that some of these catalogues contain a section with Rembrandt s followers and rejected attributions, which corresponds with the rrp s C category. 71 See, for example, Grijzenhout 2007, pp A Web Catalogue of Rembrandt Paintings, a research project of Frank Seinstra of Amsterdam University, gives an overview of the different Rembrandt catalogues, and shows which works have been attributed to Rembrandt in which catalogues. Seinstra Smith (1829), Rooses ( ), Rosenberg (1906), Oldenbourg (1921). For a discussion of their work, see Vlieghe 1981, passim. 73 For an overview of the history and the sources regarding Rubens s workshop, see Balis

12 comprises paintings produced entirely by the master s own hand. 74 The second category consists of the works Rubens produced in collaboration with other masters, who were often specialists in particular genres, such as animals (Frans Snyders), landscapes (Jan Wildens) and flowers (Jan Brueghel). The aim in this case, Balis argued, was to create a stylistic heterogeneity. 75 In other words, the other master did not attempt to paint like Rubens, but sought instead to emphasize his own style. The third and largest group is formed by paintings that Rubens produced in collaboration with his studio. Unlike the collaborators in the second category, the assistants sought here to efface their contribution. Rubens was responsible for the design, in the shape of a drawing or an oil sketch. He might then have painted the dead colour 76 for his assistants to work up. 77 Rubens would subsequently intervene, or not, at various stages of the production process and in various parts of the painting. Rubens stated, however, that he could also retouch a studio painting in such a way that it could pass for his own work. 78 Thus, the relative share of Rubens and his assistants can vary significantly in this category. Attributions to Rubens and studio should therefore ideally be articulated in detail. A last group of works were produced solely by the studio, with Rubens adding little or nothing himself. These were often replicas or variations on a Rubens composition. Produc- tion of copies served a didactic purpose, but Balis argues that the principal motivation was nevertheless to boost the studio s output. 79 Designs by Rubens were also executed entirely by other painters in the case of several major commissions. Works from the last two groups, done partially or entirely by someone else, are included in Rubens catalogues as their designs are the fruit of the master s intellectual persona and narrative skills. 80 In Rembrandt s case, by contrast, it was generally assumed until the 1980s both inside and outside the rrp that more than one hand rarely worked on the paintings from his studio. 81 There were entirely autograph Rembrandts on the one hand, and paintings in Rembrandt s style executed by studio assistants on the other. According to Van de Wetering, 82 the work of Rembrandt s studio assistants can be subdivided into three types. The first consists of faithful copies, 83 the second of copies with variations, and the third of free reworkings of Rembrandtesque themes. 84 The three types coincide, in Bruyn s view, with stages in the assistants training. He argued that after completing the various stages of copying, assistants were given greater freedom, and that their task then meant taking one s own share in the studio s output. 85 We have to assume, according to Bruyn, that design and execution went hand in hand in Rembrandt s studio. 86 This hypothesis ensured that both Rembrandt s work and that of 74 According to Arnout Balis, these works include the portraits of the artist s family, paintings for patrons with whom Rubens had a specially close relationship or who enjoyed a particular status, the landscapes for which no preliminary studies exist and surprisingly, some large altarpieces. Balis 1994, p Balis 1994, p Otto Sperling visited Rubens s studio in 1621, where he saw many young painters who worked on different pieces on which Sr. Rubens had drawn with chalk and put a spot of colour here and there; the young men had to execute these paintings which then were finished off with lines and colours added by Rubens himself. M. Rooses, De vreemde reizigers Rubens of zijn huis bezoekende, Rubens- Bulletijn 5 (1910), pp It would be premature, however, to assume that Rubens organized his studio in the same way throughout his career. 77 Van Hout 2005, p. 99. Nico Van Hout discussed the six works belonging to the unfinished Henry iv cycle. The paintings were developed to differing degrees and so provide insight into Rubens s practice. According to Van Hout, the assistants contribution came after Rubens had executed the dead colour. The assistants work was then, Van Hout states, often integrated almost imperceptibly in Rubens s dead colour. 78 Rooses and Ruelens , ii, p. 137, doc. clxvi: si ritoccarebbe tutto de mia mano et a quel modo passaria per originale. 79 Balis 1994, p Anna Tummers erroneously stated that only works that are considered entirely or partly by Rubens have been catalogued [in the crlb]. Tummers 2011, p. 40. The author cannot be blamed for this, as the crlb has nowhere defined its scope explicitly. In fact, works are included in the crlb when Ludwig Burchard or the author of a given volume consider their invention to be by Rubens. If the author disagrees with Burchard, the work gets an entry nevertheless, in which the author has to explain the different opinions. 81 Van de Wetering stated in 1986 that while it is possible that assistants were occasionally called on to paint the secondary elements of portraits, with only one or two exceptions one has to conclude that as a rule one and the same hand did produce the whole of the painting. Van de Wetering 1986, p Van de Wetering 1986, p Bruyn also writes that Rembrandt sold faithfully drawn copies, which were an important training stage prior to painting. Bruyn 1989, p Bruyn 1989, p Bruyn 1991, p Ibid., pp

13 his studio assistants were given greater autonomy, which made it possible in turn to view the autograph Rembrandts as a discrete ensemble, without prejudice to the historical reality. Sources A source that is quoted without exception in discussions of Rubens s workshop is the correspondence between the artist and Dudley Carleton, the English ambassador in The Hague. The latter had agreed to trade antique marbles in his possession for paintings. In a letter of 28 April 1618, Rubens described paintings that he had in stock, stating the extent to which they had been jointly executed. 87 The categories to which Rubens referred, form the foundation of the modern-day typology of his studio s output. It should be noted, however, that the hypothesis that there was no collaboration in Rembrandt s workshop was supported only by ambiguous historical evidence. 88 In some cases, a form of collaboration is even mentioned explicitly. This is the case in the well-known inscription on the version of the Sacrifice of Abraham in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, 87 Rooses and Ruelens , ii, pp , doc. clxvi; R.S. Magurn, The Letters of Peter Paul Rubens, Cambridge (ma) 1955, pp , doc. 28. Two other sources that are crucial to our contemporary understanding of Rubens s workshop are the contracts for the ceiling paintings for the Jesuit Church in Antwerp and the correspondence regarding the Medici cycle. Anna Tummers, in her discussion of the letter to Carleton, emphasized that Rubens viewed all the paintings he presented as products of his hand: Tummers 2011, pp For the rrp s use of source material in support of their workshop hypothesis, see Van de Wetering 1986, passim; Bruyn 1989, passim. Here it suffices to summarize that a statement by Joachim von Sandrart occupies an important place within it. Sandrart wrote that countless prominent children took lessons in Rembrandt s studio. ( seine Behausung in Amsterdam mit fast unzahlbaren fürnehmen Kindern zur Instruction und Lehre erfüllet ; J. von Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, vol. ii (3), Niederländische und Deutsche Künstler, 1675, p. 325.) Sandrart added that, in addition to their enrolment fees, Rembrandt earned a great deal from sales of their work. Van de Wetering took fürnehm [vornehm] to mean that these pupils already had a certain amount of technical baggage (rather than that they came from prominent families, as the comment was customarily interpreted), which made it plausible that Rembrandt sold their work under his name. Inventories, in which a distinction is drawn between principaelen and work naer Rembrandt, also tell us, Bruyn argues, that Rembrandt sold works that were entirely painted by his studio assistants. which states that the work was overpainted by Rembrandt. 89 The rrp argued, however, that we should view the work as a studio copy with some contribution (not recognizable as such) from Rembrandt himself. 90 Also, several works are described as retouched by Rembrandt in seventeenth-century inventories. Again Bruyn and Van de Wetering assumed, however, that these retouches were invariably subtle in character and therefore cannot be securely distinguished. 91 The fact that the traditional view of Rembrandt s workshop prevailed nevertheless has several reasons, which are best explained by contrasting his artistic output to that of Rubens. As Van de Wetering noted, 92 the works from Rembrandt s studio, with large history pieces and allegories forming the exception, are relatively small compared to those from Rubens s workshop. Rembrandt s studio mostly produced portable works for the market, 93 of which it was easier to assume that they were the work of single hands. Secondly, Rembrandt received only one commission for a series, which meant it was not necessary to presume the kind of structural collaboration that took place in Rubens s studio, for whom large commissions were numerous. 94 Thirdly, little or no evidence is available of preparatory 89 Rembrandt.verandert.En over geschildert See iii A 108, copy 2. Von Sonnenburg did recognize Rembrandt s hand in some of the brushwork in the final stages of the painting. According to Liedtke, the work was not intended to be sold as a Rembrandt, as would be the case if it bore a Rembrandt signature. Liedtke 2004, pp (includes Von Sonnenburg s unpublished observations). 90 Bruyn 1989, p Ibid., pp. 33, Van de Wetering 2011, p According to the rrp, Rembrandt painted some 190 paintings with life-size figures. Seventyfive of these are portraits, thirty-five are tronies, and eight are life-size double or group portraits. (This leaves about seventy-two large history pieces and allegories.) crp v, p Van de Wetering now argues that Rembrandt in fact produced six series of paintings and three series of etchings; see crp vi, pp However, the only large-scale commission Rembrandt received were the paintings for the Passion Series ordered by Stadholder Frederick Hendrick in 1628 and 1633: the Descent from the Cross (ii A 65), Raising of the Cross (ii A 69), Ascension (iii A 118), Entombment (iii A 126), Resurrection (iii A 127), Circumcision (lost) (V 10), and Nativity (V 11). It is noteworthy that the rrp treats the parts of this commission scattered across three volumes, displaying a concern with their respective chronology within Rembrandt s oeuvre, rather than with the series iconography and patronage as a whole, as would be the case in the crlb. Large commissions for Rubens s studio include the ceiling decorations for the Jesuit Church in

14 116 stages in Rembrandt s paintings. The Rembrandts that Van de Wetering viewed as oil sketches are mostly studies of light effects with a single figure. 95 Baer has stated that only some ten works by the Dutch master qualify as small, sketchy versions of finished compositions, most of which are studies for prints. 96 According to Van de Wetering, Rembrandt generally developed his compositions directly on the canvas or panel, 97 suggesting a way of working in which invention and execution coincide. In Rubens s case, by contrast, the many oil sketches testify to a clear division between design and execution. Finally, it is relevant that the persistent image of Rembrandt as a dissonant voice in art history concerned with the depiction of inner emotions is closely related to a notion of individuality. This was drastically enforced by Romantic writing, which projected a nineteenth-century image of an artist working alone in a seventeenth-century workshop. 98 Following the publication of the first volumes of the Rembrandt Corpus, however, the traditional view of Rembrandt s workshop was challenged increasingly. 99 The distinction between Rembrandt and not Rembrandt, as was the case in the abc system, was proving artificial. Van de Wetering too adopted a different stance in the fifth volume of the Rembrandt Corpus, not excluding the fact that the master collaborated Antwerp (crlb vol. i) and for Whitehall Palace (vol. xv), the paintings for the Torre de La Parrada (vol. ix), and the decorations for the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi (vol. xvi). Volumes on two prolific commissions for paintings have yet to be completed, namely those on the Medici cycle and the unfinished Henri iv cycle. 95 See E. van de Wetering, Rembrandt s olieverfstudies: nieuw licht op een oud probleem, in B. van den Boogert (ed.), Rembrandt, zoektocht van een genie (exh. cat. Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam), Zwolle 2006, pp R. Baer, Rembrandt s Oil Sketches, in C. Ackley (ed.), Rembrandt s Journey. Painter Draftsman Etcher (exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Boston 2003, p E. van de Wetering, Rembrandt. The Painter at Work, Amsterdam 1997, pp. 29, Van de Wetering states that there are also few compositional drawings that can be securely linked to completed paintings. 98 For an introduction with further references, see E. van Uitert, Rembrandt s roem: hoe hij werd opgenomen in de kring van de grootste genieën aller tijden, in J. Rutgers and M. Rijnders (eds.), Rembrandt in perspectief. De veranderende visie op de meester en zijn werk, Zwolle 2014, pp The hypotheses about the nature of collaboration in Rembrandt s workshop are divergent, and addressing them all here would be impossible. For a discussion of the different viewpoints and the available source material, see Liedtke 2004, passim. A more recent overview is given by Tummers 2011, pp with his assistants in some cases. 100 His primary arguments in this regard are the conspicuous fluctuations in style and quality in certain paintings, of which he argued that scientific investigation has yielded strong evidence that [they] could have taken place during Rembrandt s life, and in his studio. 101 An example of the consequences of this new working hypothesis can be found in the rrp s changing attribution of the Portrait of a Woman in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. 102 This work was placed in the C category in the second volume of the Rembrandt Corpus, prompting vigorous protest from Liedtke, among others. 103 In the fifth volume, the portrait is attributed to Rembrandt and Workshop. 104 Oddly enough, Rembrandt s input was already acknowledged in the second volume, in which the rrp concluded that the execution of the woman s left hand suggests that Rembrandt may have been involved to a limited extent in the production of the portrait. 105 We can see this change of opinion as not concerning the attribution itself (e.g. Rembrandt or Jouderville ), but rather the category it refers 100 For a nuanced view on the conditions in which Van de Wetering is prepared to recognize multiple hands, see V 7 and especially V 8 and V Van de Wetering 2011, p These had been noted previously, but were consistently viewed as later overpaintings. 102 The portrait, and its pendant the Portrait of a man, both came from the Van Berensteyn collection. See ii A 68; ii A 69; Liedtke 2007, ii, pp , nos The main reason for the criticism was the rrp s alternative attribution to Isaac Jouderville. For an overview of the scholarly reception of the attribution, see the references in Liedtke 2007, ii, pp The Portrait of a Man is now generally considered autograph. Liedtke argued that Rembrandt did not run an organized workshop at the time the paintings were commissioned, and stated that the lesser quality of the female portrait was the consequence of Rembrandt not giving his best effort, rather than of the contribution of a pupil. See Liedtke 1989; Liedtke 2004, pp Later he explained the portraits formal character ( stiff and isolated on the one hand, stately and dignified on the other) by the fact that Rembrandt had to conform to an existing dynastic ensemble. Liedtke 2007, ii, p The portraits did not get a new entry in Corrigenda and addenda to volumes i iii Paintings other than Self-Portraits, in crp iv (Self-Portraits), pp Rather, the reconsidered attribution was mentioned in Van de Wetering s essay on studio collaboration. Van de Wetering 2011, pp ii C 69 (p. 751). In the fifth volume of the Rembrandt Corpus, Van de Wetering maintained that the Berensteyn woman gives the impression of being largely the work of someone other than Rembrandt, with a change in the position of her left hand being the master s only contribution. Van de Wetering 2011, p For further support of this claim, see crp vi, pp , no. *63b. 117

15 to ( Workshop or Rembrandt and workshop ). 106 In Rubens s case, as we have seen, these categories have long been established with the aid of historical evidence. Since shifting views on Rembrandt s studio are not a reflection of new source material in which a division of labour is articulated, however, discussions of the studio s operation are, as Liedtke put it, essentially exercises in connoisseurship. 107 This is a crucial difference in the contemporary debates in Rubens and Rembrandt studies. When visual analysis, without historical underpinning, is the only means to study a matter so complex as workshop collaboration, it is more likely to result in differences of opinion. More on sources This prominent role of historical evidence is something that can be elaborated further in a comparison of Rubens and Rembrandt scholarship. The opinions on the chronology and scope of Rembrandt s oeuvre especially that of his late period diverge sharply. 108 Rubens s oeuvre, by contrast, was already more or less correctly outlined in the monumental five-volume work compiled by Max Rooses ( ), published between 1886 and Further substantial progress was made in the early twentieth century in Rudolf Oldenbourg s ( ) revised edition of the volume on Rubens in the Klassiker der Kunst series. 110 The chronology and the stylistic evolution Oldenbourg described are still largely used today. In other words, a basic consensus as to the delineation and chronology of Rubens s oeuvre has existed since We now find, alongside attributions to Rembrandt (e.g. V1, V3 and V4), Pupil of Rembrandt (e.g. V5 and V12) or Unknown Painter (V16), also Rembrandt and Pupil (V7, V8 and V 23), Pupil of Rembrandt (with intervention by Rembrandt) (V2) and Rembrandt (with additions by another hand) (V22). Van de Wetering stresses that the examples of collaboration that he now recognizes may not be viewed as systematic workshop practice. crp v, p. vii. 107 Liedtke 2004, p See Seinstra Rooses Vlieghe 1981, p. 14. When Oldenbourg died in 1921, Burchard prepared the former s Klassiker der Kunst manuscript for publication. See Vlieghe It is important to understand, however, that this consensus was not the consequence of progressing connoisseurship as such. A relatively large part of Rubens s oeuvre was painted on commission, often for church and state patrons, and therefore left historical traces in the form of contracts, correspondence and contemporary literature. The merit of Rooses, Oldenbourg and Burchard was that they related these sources to existing works. 111 By combining connoisseurship with historical research, they constructed a body of documented works that was representative for Rubens s stylistic development. As we have seen, Rembrandt mostly painted pictures for the market and for private patrons. Van de Wetering stated that apart from a limited number of portraits, group portraits and designs for etched portraits, the nucleus of securely documented paintings with other subjects adds up to no more than some fifteen paintings, of widely divergent datings, styles, sizes and subjects. 112 This knotty fact is the one cause of the rather deviant views of Rembrandt s oeuvre. Genesis Now that the broader contexts of Rubens and Rembrandt connoisseurship have been outlined, let us return to the origin of both projects and look at why they came to be. The emergence of the rrp roughly coincided with the 300th anniversary of Rembrandt s death in According to Bruyn, it was difficult at this time for an impartial eye to accept all the works attributed to Rembrandt as being by a single artist. 113 The previous generation of Rembrandt experts Wilhelm von Bode ( ), Cornelius Hofstede de Groot ( ) and Abraham Bredius ( ) (later joined by Wilhelm Valentiner [ ]) had gradually expanded Rembrandt s oeuvre. 114 Kurt Bauch and especially Horst Gerson 111 Vlieghe Van de Wetering 2014, p Bruyn, Preface, p. ix. 114 For a detailed study of this period in Rembrandt scholarship, see C. Scallen, Rembrandt. Reputation and the Practice of Connoisseurship, Amsterdam

16 120 had begun to reduce the number of works attributed to Rembrandt in their catalogues published in the 1960s. 115 None of the rrp s predecessors, however, had provided the reasons for their attributions. Bruyn wanted a radical revision of the canon, 116 using up-to-date methods and rational argument. 117 However, like their forerunners, the rrp had to deduce their revision of Rembrandt s oeuvre from the paintings themselves, hence their focus on connoisseurship and scientific research. Unlike the rrp, Burchard did not embark on a new catalogue out of dissatisfaction with the prevailing view of Rubens s work. He described the motivation and objectives of his project in a prospectus for his catalogue that was published in 1939, 118 which d Hulst and Baudouin used as their guide for the crlb. Although Burchard noted that it was important that great progress [had] been made in critical distinction between what is actually by the master and what is not, and what should belong to his early, middle or later periods, his main arguments were of a different nature. Many works had changed hands since Rooses volumes had appeared, Burchard wrote, and previously undiscovered works by Rubens had emerged. These changes needed to be recorded in a new reference work on the master. Secondly, while illustrations in Rooses catalogue were few due to technical limitations, Burchard s was to include a photograph of every work that had not been lost. Thirdly, the new catalogue would approach drawings, woodcuts and engravings in relation to the paintings, whereas Rooses had treated them in a separate volume. Except 115 For Gerson, see Van de Wetering 2014, pp Bruyn, Preface, p. x. 117 Van de Wetering later also related the rrp s origins to the scandal around Han Van Meegeren, the master forger responsible for painting an alleged Vermeer, namely the Supper at Emmaus in the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. Scientific examination demonstrated that the painting was a forgery, sending a shockwave through the Dutch art and museum world. Bob Haak, a founding member of the rrp, began his career around 1950 as an assistant at Hoogendijk art dealers, which had acted as intermediary in the Boijmans Van Beuningen purchase. Working there in the aftermath of the affair made a deep and lasting impression on Haak. Van de Wetering 2005, pp. xviii xxi; Van de Wetering 2014, p. 11. On Van Meegeren, see J. Lopez, The Man who Made Vermeers, New York Tummers sees the case as a turning point for connoisseurship in general. See Tummers 2011, pp (for her subsequent discussion of the rrp, see pp ). 118 Burchard Burchard s motivations were reprinted in extenso in d Hulst and Baudouin 1968, pp. ix xi. for these changes, however, Burchard retained his predecessor s framework when it came to presenting new information. The entries presented the same points of attention and the catalogue broadly followed the structure of the Rooses volumes. Burchard wrote that his catalogue raisonné [was] intended as the complete embodiment of our improved knowledge of Rubens s work, 119 an objective which resulted in the multi-pronged approach of the crlb. To conclude, let us reconsider the traditional measure for inclusion in Rubens and Rembrandt catalogues. This leads to a notably different demarcation of the oeuvre in the Rubens and the Rembrandt Corpus. Invention is the criterion for the former, while in the case of the latter it is execution. This difference is crucial for the way in which the oeuvres of Rubens and Rembrandt are assessed in both catalogues, for it coincides with a focus on iconography in the crlb and painterly technique in the rrp. Indeed, as Richard Shone has stated, the merit of the two projects is that we now better understand Rembrandt the painter, pari passu more is now known about Rubens s ideas. 120 This reflects longstanding conceptions of both artists. Rubens was seen as a pictor doctus, whose visual rhetoric had to be understood within the ideological contexts of humanism and the Counter-Reformation. In Rembrandt s case, by contrast, it was often the distinct manner of painting that was recognized. Rubens s genius is believed to be expressed in the invention, that of Rembrandt in the execution Burchard 1939, (unpaginated); d Hulst and Baudouin 1968, p. ix. 120 [Editorial], as in note 1, p These are of course blunt generalizations. For Rubens, see J.G. van Gelder, De Rubenswaardering, een terugblik, Tijdschrift der Stad Antwerpen 23, no. 4 (1977), pp. 1 20; A. Balis, Rubens: beeld en tegenbeeld. Iets over dissidente Rubensbiografieën, in A. Balis, F. Baudouin, N. De Poorter (eds.), Rubens and his World: Bijdragen Études Studies Beiträge. Opgedragen aan Prof. Dr. Ir. R.-A. d Hulst naar aanleiding van het vijfentwintigjarig bestaan van het Nationaal centrum voor de plastische kunsten van de 16de en de 17de eeuw, Antwerp 1985, For Rembrandt, see J. Emmens, Rembrandt en de Regels van de Kunst, Amsterdam 1964; S. Slive, Rembrandt and his Critics, The Hague For an overview, see: J. Boomgaard, R.W. Scheller, A delicate balance a brief survey of Rembrandt criticism, in C. Brown, J. Kelch, P. van Thiel, Rembrandt: the Master and his Workshop (exh. cat. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam National Gallery, London), New Haven 1991, pp

17 We have seen that the artistic practice of both painters and the availability of historical evidence regarding it somewhat explain this difference. However, a one-sided focus on either invention or execution is not justifiable. The continuing refinement of the share of the master and that of his assistants in Rubens s painted oeuvre was dealt with only cursorily in the crlb s earlier volumes. Ideally this would have gone hand in hand with the study of the paintings technical aspects, which has been a gap in the study of Rubens in general. This can in part be attributed to the size of many of his studio s paintings, making it too expensive and labour-intensive to conduct scientific research systematically. Nevertheless, as Nico Van Hout has noted, extremely valuable studies have been performed in a museum context that have not always found their way to the crlb. 122 The rrp s focus on execution, on the other hand, has led to what Westermann described as a single-minded dedication to one painter s authority, 123 with a disregard of the context in which these works were produced. It is also noteworthy that the rrp did not aim to contribute to the debate on Rembrandt iconography that unfolded in the writings of Jan Białostocki and Christian Tümpel in the 1960s and 70s. Interestingly, the projects have somewhat evolved towards one another during their fifty-year life span. Since Arnout Balis intensively edited several volumes of the crlb in the 1990s, support for the attributions grew, as did the consideration of painterly technique. It has also been decided since 2011 to include an explicit dating under the title of the catalogue entry. 124 Conversely, the new rrp has paid more attention to Rembrandt s iconography and his ideas and their context. There is also a less unilateral emphasis on Rembrandt s authorship, as the entire studio production is now taken into account. It is regrettable that financial limitations and shortage of time will prevent these policies from being fully pursued. Nevertheless, developments like these demonstrate that the methodology of both projects should not be seen solely as a consequence of the inherent characteristics of the oeuvres of Rubens and Rembrandt. Dominant traditions have also played a significant role. This may appear self-evident, but it is one thing to be aware of this, and quite another to apply this insight critically when evaluating the current state of affairs or determining future goals. 122 Van Hout (2005, p. 28) makes special mention of the studies performed by the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique in Brussels, the National Gallery in London, the Uffizi in Florence, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne and the Prado in Madrid. The Rubens Project of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp also deserves to be mentioned here. This resulted in an introductory monograph on Rubens s painting technique which contains references to the studies of the institutions mentioned above: N. Van Hout and A. Balis, Rubens Unveiled. Notes on the Master s Painting Technique, Antwerp M. Westermann, After Iconography and Iconoclasm: Current Research in Netherlandish Art, , The Art Bulletin 84, no. 2 (2002), p Since K. Brosens, crlb, vol. xiii (3), The Constantine Series, Turnhout

18 Bibliography Bailey 1994 A. Bailey, Responses to Rembrandt, New York Balis 1994 A. Balis, Fatto da un mio discepolo : Rubens Studio Practices Reviewed, in T. Nakamura (ed.), Rubens and his Workshop: The Flight of Lot and his Family from Sodom (exh. cat. National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo), Tokyo 1994, pp Baudouin 1987 F. Baudouin, Dr. Ludwig Burchard en zijn betekenis voor de studie van Rubens en van de Vlaamse kunst van de 17de eeuw, Academiae analecta: Klasse der Schone Kunsten 48 (1987), pp Brown 1987 C. Brown, [Review] D. Freedberg, crlb, vol. vii, The Life of Christ after the Passion, Turnhout 1984, The Burlington Magazine 129 (1987), pp Brown 1991 C. Brown, [Review] R.-A. d Hulst and M. Vandeven, crlb, vol. iii, The Old Testament, Turnhout 1989, The Burlington Magazine 133 (1991), pp Bruyn, Preface J. Bruyn, Preface in J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie, P.J.J. van Thiel, E. van de Wetering, A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings (crp), vol. i, , The Hague, Boston and London 1982, p. x. Bruyn 1989 J. Bruyn, Studio Practice and Studio Production, in J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie, P.J.J. Van Thiel, E. van de Wetering, crp, vol. iii, , The Hague, Boston and London 1989, pp Bruyn 1991 J. Bruyn, Rembrandt s workshop function and production, in C. Brown, J. Kelch, P. van Thiel, Rembrandt: the Master and his Workshop (exh. cat. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; National Gallery, London), New Haven

19 Burchard 1939 L. Burchard, The Work of Peter Paul Rubens, an illustrated catalogue of the paintings, drawings and engravings in six volumes Demy Quarto, to be published by Elsevier Amsterdam, Amsterdam crp iv E. van de Wetering et al., crp, vol. iv, The Self-Portraits, Dordrecht crp v E. van de Wetering et al., crp, vol. v, The Small-Scale History Paintings, The Hague, Boston and London crp vi E. van de Wetering et al., crp, vol. vi, Rembrandt s paintings revisited, Dordrecht d Hulst and Baudouin 1968 R.-A. d Hulst and F. Baudouin, Foreword, in J. R. Martin, crlb, vol. i, The Ceiling Paintings for the Jesuit Church in Antwerp, Turnhout Göttler 2000 C. Göttler, [Review] E. McGrath, crlb, vol. xiii (1), Subjects from History, Turnhout 1997, Kunstchronik 53, no (2000), p Grijzenhout 2007 F. Grijzenhout, De Zaak Rembrandt: van project naar Research, in M. Polak, J. Sevink and S. Noorda (eds.), Over de volle breedte. Amsterdams Universitair onderzoek na Amsterdam 2007, pp Grimm 1992 C. Grimm, Forschungsbeispiel Rembrandt, Eine kritische Würdigung des Amsterdamer Forschungsprojektes, Restauro, 1992, no. 3, pp Haskell 1998 F. Haskell, [Review] E. McGrath, crlb, vol. xiii (1), Subjects from History, Turnhout 1997, The Burlington Magazine 140 (1998), pp Liedtke 1989 W. Liedtke, Reconstructing Rembrandt: Portraits from the early years in Amsterdam ( ), Apollo 129, no. 327 (1989), pp , Liedtke 2004 W. Liedtke, Rembrandt s Workshop Revisited, Oud Holland 117 (2004), pp Liedtke 2007 W. Liedtke, Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum, New Haven Martin 1970 G. Martin, [Review] J.R. Martin, crlb, vol. I, The Ceiling Paintings for the Jesuit Church in Antwerp, Turnhout 1968, The Burlington Magazine 112 (1970), pp Nijkamp, Bulckens and Valkeneers (forthcoming) L. Nijkamp, K. Bulckens and P. Valkeneers (eds.), Picturing Ludwig Burchard ( ), forthcoming. Renger 1988 K. Renger, [Review] A. Balis, crlb, vol. xvii (2), Hunting Scenes, Turnhout 1986; H. Vlieghe, crlb, vol. xix (2), Portraits after Identified Sitters Painted in Antwerp, Turnhout 1987, Kunstchronik 41 (1988), pp Rooses M. Rooses, L Œuvre de P.P. Rubens, vols. I V, Antwerp, Rooses and Ruelens M. Rooses and C. Ruelens (eds.), Correspondance de Rubens et documents épistolaires concernant sa vie et ses œuvres, 6 vols., Antwerp Seinstra 2014 F. Seinstra, A Web Catalogue of Rembrandt Paintings <http://www.cs.vu.nl/~fjseins/ RembrandtCatalogue/index.html>. Slatkes 1989 L. Slatkes, [Review] J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie, P.J.J. Van Thiel, E. van de Wetering, crp, vol. i, , The Hague Boston London 1982, The Art Bulletin 71 (1989), pp

20 Soltz 2007 G. Soltz, The Unobtrusive, Ongoing, Exhaustive, Unprecedented 29-Volume Rubens Catalogue, ARTnews (June 2007). Tummers 2011 A. Tummers, The Eye of the Connoisseur, Amsterdam Van de Wetering 1986 E. van de Wetering, Problems of Apprenticeship and Studio Collaboration, in J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie, P.J.J. Van Thiel, E. van de Wetering, crp, vol. ii, , The Hague, Boston and London 1986, pp Van de Wetering 1993 E. van de Wetering, The Rembrandt Research Project, The Burlington Magazine 135 (1993), pp Van de Wetering 2005 E. van de Wetering, The Rembrandt Research Project: Past, Present, Future, in E. van de Wetering et al., crp, vol. iv, The Self Portraits, Dordrecht, Van de Wetering 2008 E. van de Wetering, Connoisseurship and Rembrandt Paintings: New Directions in the Rembrandt Research Project, Part ii, The Burlington Magazine 150 (2008), pp Van de Wetering 2011 E. van de Wetering, More than One Hand in Paintings by Rembrandt, in E. van de Wetering (et al.), crp, vol. v, The Small-Scale History Paintings, The Hague, Boston and London 2011, pp Van de Wetering 2014 E. van de Wetering et al., crp, vol. vi, Rembrandt's Paintings Revisited, Dordrecht Vlieghe 1981 H. Vlieghe, De historiek van de Rubensvorsing: van Max Rooses tot het Rubenianum, in Feestbundel bij de opening van het Kolveniershof en het Rubenianum, Antwerp 1981, p. 15. Vlieghe 2014 H. Vlieghe, Burchard and Rubensforschung in L. Nijkamp, K. Bulckens and P. Valkeneers (eds.), Picturing Ludwig Burchard ( ), forthcoming. White 1985/86 C. White, [Review] D. Freedberg, crlb, vol. vii, The Life After the Passion, Turnhout 1984; W. Adler, crlb, vol. xvii (1), Landscapes, Turnhout 1982, Master Drawings 23/24, no. 2 (1985/86), p White 1987 C. White, [Review] J. Bruyn, B. Haak, S.H. Levie, P.J.J. van Thiel, E. van de Wetering, crp, vol. ii, , The Hague Boston London 1986, The Burlington Magazine 129 (1987), p White 2002a C. White, [Review] J.R. Judson, crlb, vol. vi, The Passion of Christ, Turnhout 2000, Master Drawings 40 (2002), no. 2, p White 2002b C. White, [Review] G. Martin, crlb, vol. xv, The Ceiling Decoration of the Banqueting Hall, Turnhout 2005, Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter 23 (2002), no. 2, p. 20. White 2006 C. White, [Review] E. van de Wetering et al., crp, vol. iv, The Self-Portraits, The Hague Boston London 2005, The Burlington Magazine 148 (2006), p Van Hout 2005 N. Van Hout, Functies van doodverf. Met bijzondere aandacht voor de onderschildering en andere onderliggende stadia in het werk van P.P. Rubens, Ph.D. dissertation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,

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