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Rembrandt van Rijn and Michael Willmann, or a story of dispelling a certain myth

Kozieł, Andrzej

In: Rocznik Historii Sztuki, 33 (2008), pp. 153-176

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The article presents a new interpretation of artistic relation between Rembrandt van Rijn and Michael Willmann (1630-1706), the greatest Silesian painter in the age of Baroque, who came for education to Amsterdam around 1650. The author shows how a myth of Willmann as "Silesian Rembrandt" – the pupil and follower of the master of Amsterdam was created in 19th- and 20th-century literature. On the basis of a new reading of the biography of Willmann published by Joachim von Sandrart in 1683 in the Latin edition of "Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste" and an analysis of the series of twenty prints by Josef Gregory, carried out in 1794-1795 after Willmann’s drawings – the most probable documentation of the artist's education in Amsterdam – the author tries to revise the myth and reconstruct a real role Rembrandt and his art played not only in the education of Willmann, but also in his later artistic activity (drawings, paintings and etchings). In conclusion the author states, that Willmann did not follow the Rembrandtesque inspirations because the Italian art was an artistic ideal for him. Unfortunately, not having enough money Willmann could not go to Italy to provide full artistic education for himself. It was Willmann’s life defeat and the painter was aware of lacks in his artistic education till the end of his life.

Document type: Article
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 11:13
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Painting
Controlled Subjects: Willmann, Michael, Rembrandt <Harmensz van Rijn>
Subject (classification): Artists, Architects
Countries/Regions: Benelux
East Europe
Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Collection: ART-Dok Central and Eastern Europe