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Rembrandt's Eyes

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Rembrandt's Eyes

Simon Schama

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This dazzling, unconventional biography shows us why, more than three centuries after his death, Rembrandt continues to exert such a hold on our imagination. Deeply familiar to us through his enigmatic self-portraits, few facts are known about the Leiden miller’s son who tasted brief fame before facing financial ruin (he was even forced to sell his beloved wife Saskia’s grave). The true biography of Rembrandt, as Simon Schama demonstrates, is to be discovered in his pictures. Interweaving of seventeenth-century Holland, Schama allows us to see Rembrandt in a completely fresh and original way. ‘A capacious, generous book full of new ideas and information about not only Rembrandt but also his life, his times and his contemporaries. With Schama you look at a picture and see it as you hadn’t before.’ Doris Lessing, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year ‘With Rembrandt’s Eyes, he has, as the cliche goes, found his subject – a perfect match for his talent and sympathies . . . moving and revealing . . . a Rembrandt very much for our time . . . an extremely coherent, satisfying work.’ Alain De Botton, Independent on Sunday ‘A supreme contribution to art history.’ Anita Brookner, Spectator Books of the Year ‘A bravura performance . . . Schama is an outstanding historian . . . In this new book he brings to his perception of Rembrandt not only a profound knowledge of the seventeenth century, but also a greedy fascination with the material expression of culture in every nook and cranny of life . . . Schama deepens and enriches our familiarity with Rembrandt, and makes us understand more fully why he has often been called the greatest painter of all time. Frances Spalding, Literary Review ‘The Rembrandt riddle has now been tackled by that superbly gifted historian, Simon Schama . . . Schama speaks as an expert, but he wears his learning lightly; and few convey that learning more felicitously or fluently . . . this book holds the attention and fires the imagination . . . a portrait of the artist in the baroque manner.’ Roy Porter, Independent ‘Sumptuous . . . Impassioned and learned, expansive and discursive, Rembrandt’s Eyes not only leaves us with a fierce appreciation of the artist’s work but also immerses us inexorably in his world.’ Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

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