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Wat bedoelde Rembrandt in zijn derde brief aan Constantijn Huygens over diens huis te zeggen?

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image of Oud Holland - Journal for Art of the Low Countries

In Horst Gerson's edition of the seven letters Rembrandt addressed to Constantijn Huygens (notes 1 and 2), part of the last paragraph of the third letter has been misread in the transcription and was consequently rendered incorrectly in the translation. Referring to a painting he wished to present to Huygens, Rembrandt wrote that it 'will be presented to my lord at his house' ('sal mijn heer vereer[t] werden in sijnen Huijsen'). Unfortunately, Rembrandt omitted a t and wrote the words to form a single word. In the transcription an e was added, which resulted in the non-existent word 'vereerweerden'. The passage was then translated, quite imaginatively, as '[the picture] will be worthy of my lord's house'. This version has been generally accepted in English and even in Dutch renderings of the letter (note 5) and has been used as a starting point for speculations on Rembrandt's 'baroque' style and Huygens's 'classicist' taste (note 6). However, it clearly invests Rcmbrandt's words with a programmatic significance which is completely alien to what was merely a practical piece of information.


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