Although the extensive literature on Rembrandt could fill a small library, there has been no up-to-date survey of his extraordinary achievement as a draftsman. Renowned Rembrandt scholar Seymour Slive fills this void with his scrutiny of some 150 drawings culled from a corpus of about 800 by the master. The drawings, reproduced in color, are accompanied by etchings and paintings by Rembrandt and others, including Leonardo and Raphael. Unlike in other publications of Rembrandt's drawings, they are here arranged thematically, which makes his genius crystal clear. Individual chapters focus on self-portraits, portraits of family members and friends, the lives of women and children, nudes, copies, model and study sheets, animals, landscapes and buildings, religious and mythological subjects, historical subjects, and genre scenes. Slive further discusses possible doubtful attributions, which account for the considerable reduction from earlier times in the number of drawings now ascribed to the master.
Seymour Slive, an expert on seventeenth-century Dutch art, is Gleason Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus at Harvard University and former director of the Fogg Museum there.