Film: 8511

Art + Architecture | 1950 | Sound | Colour


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The artist Rembrandt (van Ryn). (b.1606. d.1669).
Throughout this film the narrator tells the viewer the important stages of Rembrandt's personal and artistic life.

Most of the images shown illustrate directly the narrators information.

The film opens with a close-up shot of a painting; Self- portrait,1629, focusing on one eye. The camera pans out to reveal a head and shoulders self-portrait at 23 years. This image fades into a second self-portrait; Self-portrait,1669. Painted at the age of 63 it was his last. This image fades back into the first portrait. The narrator introduces the film over these images. There follows various still and panned, close-up and full shots of seven/eight early paintings, including; The Artist in his Studio,1628. These were completed while Rembrandt was still living with his parents in Leyden, Holland. Some of the paintings have been inspired by The Bible; Paul in Captivity/ The Apostle Paul in Prison,1627, and Jeremiah Greaving for the Destruction of Jerusalem/ The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning over the Destruction of Jerusalem,1630. Cut to a close-up shot of a painting showing a hand resting on the open page of a book. The camera pans out to reveal the full painting; Rembrandt's Mother as the Biblical Prophetess Hannah,1631, showing Rembrandt's mother reading her bible, with one hand lightly touching the page. The background is dark and Rembrandt's mother is in shadow. The only light in the painting comes from behind her and falls onto the open bible and her hand. Cut to a full- shot, zooming in, of a portrait of Rembrandt's father; Harmann van Ryn. It is a head and shoulders portrait in which his father looks out in the direction of the viewer. Half of his father's face is in shadow. He has a bald head but with short, white hair around the sides, a short white beard, a moustache and lines across his forehead.

Cut to several close-up panned shots of a group portrait commissioned by the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons; Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp/ Dr. Nicolaes Tulp Demonstrating the Anatomy of the Arm,1632. The camera focuses on Dr. Tulp's face, before panning down to reveal his hand, holding an anatomy intrument which clasps part of a skinned arm. The camera focuses on three faces of the watching students, before panning down to show the green face of the dead man/subject. The camera then pans out to show a full shot of the painting. The film cuts to three shots of areas of paintings which show Rembrandt's signiture. One is signed Rt-1631, the second Rt van Ryn and the third simply Rembrandt. Cut to a still shot of a head and shoulders portrait of a man. (Self-portrait, date unknown). His head is turned towards the viewer, he has a slight frown on his forehead, frizy brown receeding hair and a whispy moustache. Cut to a close-up of a head and shoulders portrait of an older woman.(Title and date unknown) She has a sad looking face and her eyes look down. She is wearing a traditional Dutch cap and collar, both white. The shot zooms in to focus solely on her face. Cut to a close-up shot of a mans shoe, with large round buckle attatchments; Marten/Maarten Soolmans, 1634. The camera moves up his standing figure to his face, revealing a huge, white, lacey collar and black cape. Cut to a similar portrait of a woman; Oepjen Coppit, 1634. She is carrying a small bag/purse in her hand.

Film cuts to another head and shoulders self-portrait; The Man in Armour,1655. Rembrandt is wearing a black beret, his hair is cut just above the shoulder and he has a metal collar around his neck. Cut to a head and shoulders portrait of Rembrandt's wife Saskia; Saskia Smiling in a Plumed Hat, 1635. She is side on but with her face turned towards the viewer. She wears a red hat and a green dress which has white edging. The self-portrait is shown again, then Saskia's portrait. Several close-up shots and a full shot of the painting; Self-portrait with Saskia,1635, are shown. There are close-up shots of both faces. Cut to a close-up of another painting showing flowers, the camera pans out to reveal another portrait of Saskia; Saskia as Flora,1634. She looks towards, but not quite at the viewer. Cut to a quick shot of another Rembrandt self-portrait, (Title and Date unknown). He is wearing a large, floopy black hat, a silver earring and he has a small brown moustache. Return to the earlier portrait of Saskia, as Flora. It is a full length portrait, she wears a silk dress and is heavily pregnant. The camera pans down to reveal her long green dress. Cut to another portrait of Saskia; Saskia in a Hat,1635. She is side on, wearing a red hat with a white feather on the top. She wears a red dress and a fur wrap. Cut to a panned shot of another painting; The Abduction of Ganymede,1635. It shows an eagle carrying away a child; "Ganymede carried away by the eagle of Zeus to the sacred heights of Olympus". This was painted after the death of his first son. The narrative tells us that Rembrandt returns to his first inspiration, the stories of the bible. Over this an image of a naked woman is shown; (Title and date unknown). She covers herself with sheet and her arm as she perches on a cloth covered chair(?). She is wearing a necklace and bracelets on both arms. At this time Rembrandt received a commission from Prince Fredrik Hendrik to paint five/six scenes from the Passion of Christ,1633-69.

Several still and panned shots of one of these paintings follow; The Ressurection of Christ,1639. Cut to a close-up of several areas of the painting; The Blinding of Samson,1636. The shots include the soldiers faces, a dager plunged into Samson's eye and a woman holding scissors and locks of Samson's hair. A quote from Rembrandt, written to the intended owner of the painting, is read out, instructing him on where to hang the picture. The camera pans out to reveal the whole painting. Cut to a head and shoulder self-portrait; Self-portrait(at the age of 34),1640. Rembrandt is wearing a large black beret and a black jacket. Another portrait of Saskia is shown; Saskia as Flora,1641. She is facing the camera, some of her hair can be seen on her shoulder, she wears two bracelets and two necklaces. Two head and shoulders portraits of a man and woman follow. The man,(title and date unknown), has greying hair and a bushy grey beard. He is wearing a small white ruff and possibly a small black skull-cap. The woman,(title and date unknown), is middle-aged, has her hair pulled back under a white cap and has quite a large, white ruff around her neck. The camera zooms in on her eyes, nose and mouth. Cut to a full shot of Rembrandt's painting; Night Watch,1642. It is a group portrait which is also known as; The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq. It was a commemorative group painting of volunteer militia enlisted to defend Amsterdam. Twelve still and panned close-up shots follow. They show certain individual areas of the painting, mostly the soldiers faces. Cut to two close-up facial shots, then a full shot of a painting of Christ; Christ at Emmaus,1648. He sits at a table facing the viewer but starring into space, a man also sits at the table but facing away from the viewer on the left of the picture, on older man sits and a younger man stands on the right of the picture also at the table. Cut to several quick shots a portrait of Rembrandt's son Titus; Titus at his Desk,1655. A self-portrait is also shown alongside a head and shoulders shot of a Rembrandt portrait of his mistress, after Saskia's death; Hendrickije Stoffels,1652. She has light brown hair, tied back, with curls at the side and long pearl earrings. Cut to a panned shot, from bare legs upwards, of a portrait of a woman, her white dress held up as she paddles in a stream; A Woman Bathing/Hendrickije Bathing in a River, 1654. Cut to a long shot, to close up, of another self-portrait dated 1652. A close up follows, slowly zooming out, of a full length portrait of Rembrandt's friend; Jan Six,1654. Cut to a panned shot of another biblical painting; The Blessing of Jacob on his Grandchildren/Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph,1656. The camera focuses on all the faces in the painting then pans out to reveal the full picture. Similar shots of another painting follow; David Plays the Harp for Saul/David Playing the Harp Before Saul,1656. Rembrandt is commissioned to paint a second anatomy lesson; The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Johan Deyman, 1656. The camera focuses first on the dead man, feet closest to the viewer, his body propped up slightly, as it retreats into the painting. There is a large, gaping hole/cavity in the man's stomach/chest area. The camera pans up to show the dead subjects head; the scalp has been cut and peeled down, the skull removed and the brain left showing. Dr. Deyman is cutting part of the top of the brain. Cut to a close up shot of Rembrandt's face in the painting;

Self-portrait,1652. Camera pans out slightly to reveal full face and neck. Still head and shoulders shot of an unknown portrait of Hendrickije Stoffels. Panned shot of Rembrandt's portrait of his son; Portrait of Titus Reading,1658. Cut to a full shot, panning in, on Rembrandt's face in the painting; Self-portrait Holding his Palette, Brushes and Maulstick,1661/3. He has white/grey shoulder length hair and is wearing a white cap. Narrative and film cuts to the painting; The Portrait of the Syndics of the Clothmakers Guild,(The Syndics),1662. A close up shot pans up to reveal three of the syndics. Quick shots of the faces of all the six men present, they all wear traditional dress; tall, black hats and black jackets with large white collars. Camera pans out to reveal the whole painting. Cut to a head and shoulders shot, zooming in on the face of Rembrandt from his painting; Self-portrait as St. Paul, 1661. He wears a white cap and has raised eyebrows with a lined forehead. There follows four still facial shots of previously mentioned self-portraits. Cut to a close up facial shot, panning out to reveal the head and shoulders, of the painting by Rembrandt(and workshop?); Portrait of Titus in a Hat,1660. Return to the painting Self-portrait as St. Paul, the panned shot also reveals the papers he is holding. Cut to close-up, panned shots and full shot of the painting; The Jewish Bride.(Issac and Rebecca),1667/8. The film cuts to similar shots of another painting; Family Group, 1668/9. Cut to head and shoulders shots of eight previously seen self-portraits, each image fading into the next.

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