7,772 book reviews and counting...

Young Rembrandt Reviews

Young Rembrandt by Onno Blom, Beverley Jackson

Young Rembrandt

A Biography

Onno Blom, Beverley Jackson

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Pushkin Press
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication date: 7 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781782275596

A fascinating portrait of the artist as a young man, rich in local and biographical detail, and restless in its efforts to seek out the roots of his genius.

4 stars out of 5
Michael Prodger
6 Dec 2019

"It is a book that sets itself a conundrum: “How did Rembrandt become Rembrandt?”"

Blom’s method is persuasive: he follows the painter around Leiden’s streets and over its bridges (145 of them, he says) to recreate the world that shaped him. As a result, the book is a biography of the city too. He starts with the house in which Rembrandt was born, but which was demolished in 1927. All that was salvaged was a commemorative plaque that had been put up some 20 years earlier; this though has now been re-erected in the wrong place. It is a metaphor in its way for Blom’s technique: while he can get to within inches of his man he can never be sure to have nailed him down accurately.