Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes
Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes
The Artist’s Meaning to Jews from His Time to Ours
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Table of Contents
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Introduction – Mirjam Knotter and Gary Schwartz
Jews and Judaism in Rembrandt’s Own World
Sephardi Jewish Life and Material Culture in Rembrandt’s Time – Mirjam Knotter
Rembrandt and His (Jewish) Neighbors. A Stroll Through the Neighborhood – Mirjam Knotter
Rembrandt’s Other Jews. The Amsterdam Ashkenazim in the Seventeenth Century – Bart Wallet
Map with residents and owners of houses in and around the Jodenbreestraat in Rembrandt’s time (ca. 1625–1658) – Mirjam Knotter and Guido Leguit
Society, Spirituality, Imagery
Jews and Black People in Rembrandt’s Art – Michael Zell
Rembrandt, Menasseh ben Israel and Spinoza – Steven Nadler
Rembrandt, the Jews and Judaism – Shelley Perlove
Jewish Brides, Rabbis and Sitters in Rembrandt’s Prints – Roman Grigoryev
Jewish Artists
Modern Jewish Artists Discover Rembrandt – Larry Silver
Laying it on Thick: British (Immigrant) Artists and their Rembrandt – Simon Schama
Rembrandt and Russian Jewish Artists – Nina Getashvili
Jewish Collectors and Museums
Rembrandt as Seen by Jewish Museums – Laurence Sigal-Klagsbald
Jewish Collectors Take Rembrandt to their Hearts – Gary Schwartz
About the Authors

Mirjam Knotter, Gary Schwartz (eds)

Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes

The Artist’s Meaning to Jews from His Time to Ours

The earliest painting by Rembrandt whose owner is documented depicts the prophet Balaam, on his way to blessing Israel. The man who bought it was a Sephardi Jew in the service of Cardinal Richelieu of France. The first known buyer of an etching plate by Rembrandt, depicting Abraham Dismissing Hagar and Ishmael, was a Sephardi Jew of Amsterdam. Seen through their eyes, Rembrandt was the creator of images with a special meaning to Jews. They have been followed through the centuries by Jewish collectors, Jewish art historians, Jewish artists who saw their own deepest concerns modelled in his art and life, and even prominent rabbis, one of whom said that Rembrandt was a Tzadik, a holy man blessed by God.

This book is the first study in depth of the potent bond between Rembrandt and Jews, from his time to ours, a bond that has penetrated the image of the artist and the people alike.

Mirjam Knotter

Mirjam Knotter, chief curator and manager exhibitions, Jewish Museum, Amsterdam, author and curator of Kabbalah: The Art of Jewish Mysticism (Vienna, Jüdisches Museum; Amsterdam, Jewish Museum, 2018); Author of From Angel to the Shekhinah: The Influence of Kabbalah on the Late Work of R.B. Kitaj (Images, Brill, Leiden, 2020); Author and curator of exhibition and essay Charlotte Salomon in Close up: The Influence of Cinema on Life? or Theatre?(Trasparenze 7, 2021 - numero dedicato a Charlotte Salomon).

Gary Schwartz

Gary Schwartz, independent, founding director emeritus of CODART, author and guest curator of exhib. cat. Rembrandt’s Orient: West Meets East in Dutch Art of the Seventeenth Century (Potsdam, Museum Barberini; Kunstmuseum Basel).