“Reading Rembrandt” questions the traditional boundaries between literary and visual analysis with close, side-by-side readings of some of the Dutch master's works alongside paintings of the same era whose attribution is still debated. A new understanding of the role of visuality in our culture emerges, one that makes significant inroads, most particularly, for the study of gender in Rembrandt's work. Demonstrating acute sensitivity to Rembrandt's art, acclaimed scholar and author Mieke Bal
gives new depth to an old master, a perspective with vast consequences for our views of gender, the artist, and the act of reading.
Reading Rembrandt: Beyond the Word-Image Opposition explores the potential for an interdisciplinary methodology between visual art and literature. In a series of close analyses of works by “Rembrandt” - works as we see them today, through all the ways of seeing and commenting that precede - and texts related to those works, Mieke Bal
questions the traditional boundaries between literary and visual analysis. Bal also studies Rembrandt's complex handling of gender and the representation of women in Rembrandt's painting. The methods used in this study come from both in- and outside the history of art. They demonstrate the author's sensitivity to the visual aspects of Rembrandt's work as meaningful. The works by Rembrandt gain in depth and interest, but an original perspective of the role of visuality in our culture also emerges, which ultimately has consequences for our views of gender, the artists, and the act of reading.
is a Professor at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and is based at the University of Amsterdam.