Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt's Paintings

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9789053569177: Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt's Paintings

Until now dress has played only a subordinate role in the research of Rembrandt’s paintings, despite the fact that few artists are as intensively studied as this Dutch master. The lacuna is all the more surprising since Rembrandt obviously delighted in rendering clothes, which, for him, not only communicated the character and social status of his sitters but also clarified his narratives and heightened the drama in his historical pieces. Here, Marieke de Winkel offers a fascinating and much-needed study of dress and costume in the works of Rembrandt.

De Winkel shows us how focusing on apparel opens a new line of inquiry into Rembrandt’s paintings, one which is symbolically and iconographically richer than previously imagined. This approach, which has not been fully acknowledged by art historians nor developed by dress historians, deepens our understanding of Rembrandt’s expression as well as the cultural and historical context of the Dutch seventeenth century. De Winkel proves the merits of the approach here with her close readings of Rembrandt’s paintings and the contemporaneous connotations of the clothes he depicted. She demonstrates convincingly that clothes do much more than help date the paintings; they are instead integral to the program of representation.

No longer ancillary to art history, dress and costume here receive their full due in this study, leaving us with not only a better understanding of Rembrandt but of his wider world as well.

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About the Author:

Marieke de Winkel is affiliated with the Rembrandt Research Project in Amsterdam.

Review:

"Among the countless Rembrandt titles published over the past decades, this book is doubtless one of the most important. The author explores not only a hitherto neglected subject, but also throws light on an important aspect of Rembrandt's art. . . . De Winkel's research offers an unusually rich scale to the new possibilities of interpreting and points with striking precision toward countless written sources which materialize as a rich panorama of cultural history. The importance of this book lies in the way in which the author has integrated issues and insights in the history of fashion, art and culture, yielding new knowledge and new, valuable hypotheses." (Ernst van de Wetering, author of Rembrandt: The Painter at Work and chairman of the Rembrandt Research Project, Amsterdam 2004-05-24)

"By examining literary and pictorial sources, documents about what garments people actually owned, and manuals of behavior, Winkel gives richly nuanced interpretations of the dress of Rembrandt's figures, the meaning of their postures and gestures, and their variious levels of contemporary appropriateness." (Choice)

"De Winkel demonstrates the centrality of dress in Rembrandt's work. . . . [She] makes a strong case for the impact of the graphic tradition upon Rembrandt's costuming. Her fine study is carefully researched and well-reasoned, and extremely useful to scholars." (Shelley Perlove Historians of Netherlandish Art)

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Winkel, Marieke de.
ISBN 10: 9053569170 ISBN 13: 9789053569177
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Kloof Booksellers & Scientia Verlag
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Buchbeschreibung Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press, c2006. Orig. cloth binding. Dustjacket. 398 pp. Ills. 27 cm. English text. Condition : new. Condition : as new copy. ISBN 9789053569177[KEYWORDS: ART, Rembrandt. Artikel-Nr. 17153

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