New Images
23 March 2006
  The legacy of artists
I had this wonderful hour reading via Artblog the text on Rembrandt The God of Realism by Robert Hughes. It fits perfectly in my recent thoughts on the borders of the artists life, on the shorter or longer time we have as artists and on the remains of an artists life. On every artists death you could think just practically: What happens with all the art works, the bigger and smaller canvases, the sculptures, the sketches, the brushes and the paint ? Will the studio be sold, or will a young family move in, or a young artist fresh and full of hopes from the academy ? Where spreads the artists collections of daggers and swords and all his books and letters ? In wich fire will burn his sketches or the minor unsuccessful work? Will indeed raise prices for his works (probably in 99% of cases not). Or, had been 12 works enough to describe the efforts of this artists life, or are all 420 paintings important ? Was this life worth to be sacrificed as an artists life with all its hardships, or wasted, or worth anyway ? When the artists theories, ideas, hopes and wishes are gone away and easily forgotten or misinterpreted to a part, what is then left, just some of his works ?
I remember, how I found a couple of times complete (and good) sketchbooks in Amsterdams litters, thrown away brushes and paint on the streets, paintings for 4 Gulders on the Flee Markets. In the towns today crowded with Artists like London, Amsterdam or New York is dying an artist almost every day I guess. So, will the remainings of an average artists life be especially the more well adapted works, wich are hanging at uncles, ex-girlfriends and dentists offices, because they have been so nice ? Belongs the painting, what was of a close artist's friend, but then painted over (because he couldn't look at it anymore) now to this or that Oeuvre ?

Yes, the question of the Polish Rider also does touch me very close too. I can not imagine any other artist than Rembrandt to be the author. There is just no other artist in that time with the capabilities to make such a work. Who could show that irony of the horses jaw ? The loose and skilled seat of the rider. Who could have painted this incredible hoofs ? Where the elbow of the rider meets the blank canvas and fur is painted better than real ? Such a face of calm self assurance in a quite dramatic scene? The rembrandtic turn of the riders head towards us ? This frightening light ?



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