Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India Stephanie Schrader, Catherine Glynn, Yael Rice, William W. Robinson

Getty Publications -
Publication date:
20 Mar 2018
Getty Publications
160 pages: 292 x 226 x 18mm

Ahh, the impact of Indian art and culture on a Dutch artist in the late 1650s! Pairing Rembrandt's twenty-three surviving drawings of Shah Jahan, Jahangir, Dara Shikoh, and other Mughal courtiers with Mughal paintings of similar compositions, the book critiques the prevailing notion that Rembrandt "brought life" to the static Mughal art. With essays written by both scholars of both Dutch and Indian art, this volume demonstrates that Rembrandt's contact with Mughal painting inspired him to draw in an entirely new, refined style on Asian paper-an approach that was shaped by the Dutch trade in Asia and prompted by the curiosity of a foreign culture. Seen in this light, Rembrandt's engagement with India enriches our understanding of collecting in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, the Dutch global economy, and Rembrandt's artistic self-fashioning. A close examination of the Mughal imperial workshop provides new insights into how Indian paintings came to Europe as well as how Dutch prints were incorporated into Mughal compositions.

Stephanie Schrader is a curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She is editor of "Looking East: Ruben's Encounter with Asia" (Getty Publications, 2013).