Co-sponsors: Columbia University Departments of Art History and History; the Queen Wilhelmina Chair in Dutch Studies
Ernst van de Wetering, Head of the Rembrandt Research Project, discusses his ongoing research which reveals how students used works by the master as prototypes. Comparing works by master and students sharpens the eye for quality and offers insight into fundamental aspects of 17th-century painting.
Ernst van de Wetering is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on Rembrandt and historical painting techniques, as well as in the field of theory and ethics of conservation and restoration.
Ernst van de Wetering (1938) was first trained as an artist at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. After finishing his training he became art teacher and artist. In 1968, while studying art history at the University of Amsterdam, he was invited as an assistant to the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP), which had started in that same year. In 1970 he became a member of the RRP team and in 1992 he succeeded Josua Bruyn as its chairman. Between 1969 and 1987 he was a staff member of the Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science in Amsterdam. Since 1987 he has been professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam. The Rembrandt Research Project has published three volumes with the results of its investigation in A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. Volumes IV and V are about to appear.
Ernst van de Wetering has published extensively and lectured in numerous countries on Rembrandt, on historic studio practice as well as in the field of theory and ethics of conservation and restoration. His recent book, Rembrandt. The Painter at Work (Amsterdam University/University of California Press) provides insight into a variety of technical, artistic and esthetic aspects of Rembrandt’s work.