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Rembrandt And The Historical Construction Of His Conspiracy Of Claudius Civilis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter interrogates Rembrandt's painting, genesis and representation strategies. For a Dutch seventeenth-century artist, a historical painting is a painting of a myth. Rembrandt becomes the artist chosen for the unfinished Conspiracy. He rejects the sketches of his former apprentice and doesn't study the painting, which has been left unfinished by Flinck and recreates the whole project after having drawn several sketches of his own. It is impossible to understand the controversy, which surrounds the acceptance, then the rejection of the Conspiracy, without putting proper perspective into the immediate context of the work. Like all the paintings related to the Batavian revolt and made for the stadhuis, the Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis falls under the iconographic, political and historical context. Rembrandt did'nt choose to place his Conspiracy within a forest landscape. The representation of the Batavians and their chief proposed by Rembrandt went against the principles of stadhuis program.

Keywords: Batavian; Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis; Dutch; Flinck; Rembrandt; stadhuis



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