The Netherlands, how nazis tried to use Rembrandt

Rembrandt, The Jewish bride

Reuters reports:

Museum recalls Nazi use of Rembrandt

Fri Jul 14, 2006

By Alexandra Hudson

AMSTERDAM – His face is one of the best known in the art world, and as the Netherlands celebrates the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth, his life and work retain few secrets.

But did you know he was once a Nazi icon?

An exhibition at the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam recalls the Nazis’ largely forgotten mission to incorporate the Dutch painter into fascist ideology, and win sympathy in the Netherlands, which they occupied in 1940.

The artist appeared on Dutch stamps issued during the occupation, a “Rembrandt” prize was awarded for artistic contribution to National Socialist culture, and a Rembrandt opera and film were written.

The Nazis even tried to institute a national holiday on Rembrandt’s birthday, July 15, to replace the traditional Queen’s Day parties on the date of the Dutch Queen’s birthday.

But the Dutch remained largely unenthusiastic, helping to preserve the international standing of the 17th century artist, who painted nearly 100 self-portraits.

The Amsterdam exhibition, which opened in late June, includes the stamps, a 1941 [sic; 1942 really] film about Rembrandt, and old posters advertising Rembrandt Day.

From Dear Kitty ModBlog Google cache.

11/4/05 at 4:08PM

According to Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, the famous seventeenth century painting The Jewish Bride, by Rembrandt van Rijn, may not really be about a bride.

It may depict a father and daughter.

Not a married couple, as most experts say.

These experts differ which two individuals from the Biblical tradition of ancient Jewish history are depicted as a couple.

Some say Isaac and his wife Rebecca.

Some say Abraham and Sarah.

Some say Jacob and Rachel.

Now, Dutch author Bert Natter has a new theory.

He thinks Rembrandt depicted ancient judge and warrior Jephthah and his daughter; as described in the Bible, in Judges 11.

So a Jewish daughter, not a Jewish bride.

Natter bases this on a play by Rembrandt’s contemporary, famous Dutch playwright Joost van den Vondel.

In Vondel’s tragedy Jephta, Natter says, the tragic daughter is described similarly, in dress, etc., as in Rembrandt’s painting.

Also, an 1828 English catalogue describes the painting as “Jephtah and his daughter”.

Many art historians, however, prefer the traditional interpretation to Natter’s.

Art historian Rudi Fuchs: “No one knows for sure who are depicted on that painting”.

2 thoughts on “The Netherlands, how nazis tried to use Rembrandt

  1. Pingback: Nazi tattoos in Germany | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: From Rembrandt’s teen age to Picasso’s old age: etchings | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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