Art: Really Rembrandt?

An exhibition in London demonstrates that many works attributed to the great master, including some famous and much loved ones, were painted by his assistants

YOU CAN'T OFTEN COMPARE PAINTers with writers, because of the apples-and- oranges problem of imagining links between dissimilar arts. But in the case of Rembrandt van Rijn you can, and the temptation to do it, if not carried too far, can hardly be resisted. He was the Shakespeare of 17th century painting, even more so than Nicolas Poussin was the Milton.

That is the first thing that the exhibition "Rembrandt: The Master & His Workshop: Paintings," now in its closing week at London's National Gallery, makes clear. Rembrandt was not a "literary" painter, as his intense devotion to the muck and...

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