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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Deutscher Kunstverlag (DKV) November 29, 2021

Connoisseurship and the Investigation of Materiality: Four “Rembrandt” Drawings in Weimar*

Thomas Ketelsen, Carsten Wintermann, Christien Melzer, Georg Dietz, Uwe Golle and Oliver Hahn


The aim of this paper is to present the productive interplay of connoisseurship and material analysis when dealing with drawings by Rembrandt – or previously attributed to him – in the collection of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. This concerns the more precise determination of the drawing materials used and the reconstruction of the genesis of the drawings discussed. The material analysis allows us to decide whether and how Rembrandt’s inks can be used to determine authorship at all. The “material turn” in drawing studies thus intervenes in the discussion about authorship and opens up a broader production aesthetic perspective. No longer the “style” but rather the handeling becomes the decisive criterion for answering the question “Rembrandt, or not?”

* Our findings, based on research conducted as part of DFG project “Kennerschaft heute: Die wissenschaftliche Erschließung der niederländischen Zeichnungen der Klassik Stiftung Weimar” (2018–2021), were first presented at the conference Drawings by Rembrandt: Connecting Art History, Science and Conservation at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 6–7 February 2020.

  1. Photo Credits: 1, 3–5, 8, 12, 15–19, 21, 23–25, 27, 30 © Carsten Wintermann, Weimar. — 2 © Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. — 6 © Georg Dietz, Dresden. — 7, 13 © Antje Penz, Berlin. — 9 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre), photo: Thierry Le Mage. — 10, 11 © Bayonne, musée Bonnat-Helleu, photo: A. Vaquero. — 14, 29 © Oliver Hahn, Berlin. — 20 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre), photo: Stéphane Maréchalle. — 22, 31 © Berlin, Staatliche Museen – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Jörg P. Anders. — 26 © Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum. — 28, 33 © Berlin, Staatliche Museen – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Dietmar Katz. — 32 © London, The Trustees of the British Museum. — 34 © Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung. — 35 © Berlin, Staatliche Museen – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Volker-H. Schneider.

Published Online: 2021-11-29

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston