Today, art theft is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, exceeding $6 billion in losses to galleries and art collectors annually. The masterpieces of Rembrandt van Rijn are some of the most frequently targeted.
In Stealing Rembrandts, art security expert and the Gardner's Head of Security Anthony M. Amore and award-winning investigative reporter Tom Mashberg reveal the actors behind the major Rembrandt heists in the last century. Through thefts around the world - from Stockholm to Boston, Worcester to Ohio - the authors track daring entries and escapes from the world's most renowned museums.
There are robbers who coolly walk off with multi million dollar paintings; self-styled art experts who fall in love with the Dutch master and desire to own his art at all costs; and international criminal masterminds who don't hesitate to resort to violence. They also show how museums are thwarted in their ability to pursue the thieves - even going so far as to conduct investigations on their own, far away from the maddening crowd of police intervention, sparing no expense to save the priceless masterpieces.
Stealing Rembrandts is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind look at the black market of art theft, and how it compromises some of the greatest treasures the world has ever known.
By Anthony M. Amore, Head of Security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Tom Mashberg
Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2012
6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rembrandt, Dutch, 1606-1669
Rembrandt's most striking narrative painting in America, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, is also his only painted seascape. Dated 1633, it was made shortly after Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam from his native Leiden, when he was establishing himself as the city's leading painter of portraits and historical subjects. The detailed rendering of the scene, the figures' varied expressions, the relatively polished brushwork, and the bright coloring are characteristic of Rembrandt's early style. Eighteenth-century critics like Arnold Houbraken often preferred this early period to Rembrandt's later, broader, and less descriptive manner.
Framed postcard measurs 6.3" x 7.5"
If Rembrandt's career had ended in 1631, before the 25-year-old artist moved from his native town of Leiden to the booming metropolis of Amsterdam, how would history remember him? This is the theme of Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt.
Rembrandt's work in Leiden was already extraordinarily creative and intensely dramatic. In the years 1629 to 1631, the artist struggled to master different genres and techniques. He worked with Jan Lievens and took his first known pupil, Gerrit Dou. By the time he decided to seek his fortune in Amsterdam, his work had already achieved a unique and profound sense of color, light, and human emotion.
Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt includes contributions by Alan Chong, Arthur Wheelock, Christopher White, and Mariët Westermann.
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2000
10.1 x 0.7 x 11.9 inches
Self-Portrait, Age 23
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669
Rembrandt’s self-portraits, made throughout his long career, served many different purposes, and in these explorations of his own face and personality remain elusive in many ways. This is one of his first painted self-portraits, and unlike most of the earlier ones, it is not a study of expression or emotion. Indeed, the face, though beautifully lit with evocative shadows, is almost expressionless. The painting is all about costume: the plumed cap, silk scarf, and jacket suggest that this might be an elegant sitter, perhaps even an historic personage. The painting is large and carefully finished, almost as though it were a demonstration piece. In 1629, Rembrandt had not yet received any portrait commissions, so this work might have been done to show off his talents.
On the other hand, by 1629, the twenty-three-year-old artist had already begun to attract critical attention. Self-portraits were a desirable collectible for sophisticated connoisseurs, especially since Rembrandt here wears a golden chain, which indicates the status or nobility of the painter’s profession, although he had not received any such decoration.
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) was restlessly experimental in his printmaking; he manipulated his copperplates in unprecedented ways in order to achieve an image that was often in flux. Rembrandt was the first artist to treat the print medium as a means of crafting visibly changing images, even as his prints were increasingly received in the market as finished works in their own right. Rembrandt’s Changing Impressions, published to accompany an exhibition at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, considers this aspect of Rembrandt’s art, and its position in the 17th-century print market, through the comprehensive exploration of 18 of his most dramatically altered works―the first time in more than four decades that such an investigation has been undertaken. Each print’s multiple impressions are displayed side by side, giving readers the opportunity to examine their range, power and nuance.
By Robert Fucci with foreword by David Freedberg
Published by Walther König, 2016
8.3 x 0.7 x 11 inches
This intelligently revised volume on the life and work of Rembrandt offers detailed insight into the artist from an authority on the subject.
Rembrandt is among the few old masters to retain universal appeal among art lovers today. His striking self-portraits and scenes are on view at museums around the world—yet he remains an elusive, enigmatic figure.
In Rembrandt, distinguished art historian Christopher White carefully considers Rembrandt’s history to build a sensitive and thorough account of the artist’s life and work. White describes the radiant happiness of Rembrandt’s marriage, tragically cut short by the death of his wife, and discusses the catastrophe of his bankruptcy. Digging deeper, White also explores the psychological factors that may have awakened Rembrandt’s sudden interest in landscape and examines the artist’s final decade, when he retreated into the private world of his imagination.
This comprehensive introduction is revised and updated to include recent scholarship and features an expanded bibliography. In this stunning new edition, Rembrandt’s artworks are now faithfully reproduced in color throughout.
By Christopher White
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2022
6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
Rembrandt seems to have been an artist who took little notice of other people. Yet he had a family, friends and acquaintances who helped him, bought his art, lent him money, challenged him artistically and inspired him. He would never have become such a great artist without his social network. This book explores that network: Rembrandt's early friends, family members ('blood friends'), artist friends, the connoisseurs who supported him and his friends in times of need. As a friend, Rembrandt went his own way. He made little effort to get on with the elite, and preferred to surround himself with people who understood art. He had strong ties with them, as he did with the members of his family. He portrayed them in remarkably informal paintings and prints, works that bring Rembrandt's private world to life.Written by Epco Runia and David de Witt
Having inspired fervent study for centuries, Rembrandt and his Dutch Golden Age contemporaries are admired especially for their portraiture, with Rembrandt in particular having captured a liveliness in his subjects that continues to inspire artists today. In the 17th century, there was a significant market demand for portraits among Amsterdam’s upper class; like Rembrandt, painters such as Thomas de Keyser (c. 1596-1667), Frans Hals (c. 1582-1666) and later Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613-70) relied on these commissions for a critical portion of their income and thus created a wealth of paintings depicting various sitters. Helmed by Amsterdam Museum curator Norbert Middelkoop, this 2020 Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza exhibit presents 20 painted portraits and 20 engravings by Rembrandt and some 60 pieces by his contemporaries in a comprehensive survey that reveals the everlasting quality of these works.
This clothbound volume accompanies the exhibit and includes color reproductions of key pieces as well as research into the stories behind the paintings’ subjects: married couples, craftsmen at work, children, scholars, businessmen, the artists themselves and important group portraits.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rjin (1606-69), better known by the mononym Rembrandt, was a draftsman, printmaker, art collector and painter whose tremendous output of work helped define the Dutch Golden Age. Although he died in near poverty, Rembrandt is now widely understood as one of the greatest and most-studied artists in the Western canon.