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Rembrandt's Nose: Of Flesh and Spirit in the Master's Portraits Hardcover – July 1, 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Last year marked the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, and in this slim, intensely focused volume, Paris-based scholar Taylor (translator of Pierre Schneider's seminal work, Matisse) presents an unusual and carefully researched study that stands alone while acknowledging the author's debt to Simon Schama's Rembrandt's Eyes. If the sitter is the lead actor of a performance... then the nose is his understudy on the stage of the face, Taylor writes with characteristic verve, underscoring a major theme: the drama of physiognomy and how Rembrandt engaged it in innovative ways and with emotive depth. For Rembrandt, Taylor argues, the nose is a sensual, sexual, vital and often definitive element in his portraits and self-portraits. Taylor's study presents a broader chronological exploration of the painter's portrayal of the human form and the self-portraits he obsessively created throughout his life. Several of Taylor's themes are familiar, such as Rembrandt's interest in the body's physical decline. Yet his perspective is often fresh and probing; the discussion of moral blindness and seeing-in-blindness in Rembrandt's Tobit series is particularly illuminating. Taylor's prose is elegant and his interpretations show engagement with Rembrandt scholarship, making this book appealing. to those with a general interest in Rembrandt as well as to scholars of the painter and period. 49 illus. (July 1)
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From Booklist

Taylor's brief but densely composed study of Rembrandt's portraits focuses on details viewers may have missed, particularly the artist's depictions of noses. In what he acknowledges as a debt to Simon Schama's masterly Rembrandt's Eyes (1999), Taylor posits the nose as the unacknowledged focus of several Rembrandt masterpieces. The nose functions variously as a sculptural mass, a receptor of light, and often a key component of the artist's famously dramatic chiaroscuro. When light sweeps laterally across the sitter's face, as it often does, the nose is the fence that separates bright illumination and shadow. Sometimes you feel Taylor chafing at the minimalist parameters within which he works, fighting, then, sometimes, giving in to the temptation to delve into other aspects of Rembrandt's work. Nance, Kevin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
  • Hardcover : 168 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1933045443
  • ISBN-10 : 1933045442
  • Product Dimensions : 5.75 x 1 x 7.75 inches
  • Publisher : D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.; F First Edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 7 ratings
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