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The Frick collection Rider by Rembrandt van Rijn Deyell, Daniel Wayne 1980

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THE FRICK COLLECTION RIDER BY REMBRANDT van RUN by DANIEL WAYNE DEYELL B.A., The University of Saskatchewan, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Fine Arts Department) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 19 80 (c) Daniel Wayne Deyell, 1980 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Brit ish Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Daniel Deyell Department of Fine Arts The University of Brit ish Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date 29 August 19 8 0 i i Abstract The F r i c k C o l l e c t i o n Rider by Rembrandt (common-ly known as the Polish Rider) has been.studied and sup-posedly i d e n t i f i e d by art h i s t o r i a n s . This thesis reviews writings on the painting from i t s description by Anton Bredius i n 1 8 9 7 to the present day, and proposes new mater-i a l relevant to a better understanding of the function and meaning of the painting. Ju l i u s Held firmly established the art h i s t o r i c a l study of the Polish Rider i n an a r t i c l e i n 1 9 4 4 . His source material includes Polish and non-Polish writings, as well as p i c t o r i a l comparisons. His conclusion, i s that the Polish Rider i s not a commissioned p o r t r a i t , perhaps not even Polish, but rather a representation of some important a l l e g o r i c a l or h i s t o r i c a l figure. W.S. Valentiner writing in 1 9 4 8 agreed while Jan Bia l o s t o c k i i n 1 9 6 9 and Colin Campbell i n a number of a r t i c l e s i n the 1 9 7 0 ' s agreed with q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . There are others, however, who strongly disagree. Zdzislav Zygulski i n 1 9 6 5 proposes that the Polish Rider be i d e n t i f i e d as a r e a l p o r t r a i t of a Lisowski-l i k e cavalryman while B.P.J. Broos i n 1 9 7 5 concludes the p o r t r a i t i s of a seventeenth century Polish s i t t e r . In the painting i t s e l f , there i s no evocation of the glory of seventeenth century Netherlands. I t hints rather of the g l o r i e s and thoughts of other times and i i i places. The r i d e r i s not r e a l but l o s t i n ancient s t o r i e s , i n exploits that he has been through. His bearing, his horse and the land around him create an atmosphere of the exotic. The viewer i s l e f t ' t o sense the heritage and strength of the r i d e r and his l i f e . The attitude of a noble hero, a symbol to be held in admiration, i s found i n few characters with the Polish Rider's a t t r i b u t e s . As Bi a l o s t o c k i had said, i t would a l -most be better suited to the graphic medium of the emblem-ata. One figure i n p a r t i c u l a r f i t s the description and the mood of the Rembrandt painting, and that i s the three-fold personality of St. Reinold of Pantaleon/Renaud of Les Quatre  F i l s Aymon. Here i s one of the few persons who was popular i n seventeenth century l i t e r a t u r e , and who as a so l d i e r and a saint gives acceptable meaning to the Frick C o l l e c t i o n Rider. I V The Frick C o l l e c t i o n Rider by Rembrandt van Rijn Contents Abstract i i Contents ;'. i v Chapter 1. The painting: i t s physical and formal description. 1 Chapter 2. Historiography, part 1, early writings on the painting. 5 Chapter 3. Historiography, part 2, recent art history a r t i c l e s on the painting. 20 Chapter 4. A consideration of past h i s t o r -iography and present knowledge relevant to the painting's context i n r e l a t i o n to art h i s t o r i c a l documents. 35 Chapter 5. Conclusion 49 Provenance 54 Footnotes 55 Bibliography 64 1 Chapter One The painting: i t s physical and formal description Hidden i n a small c o l l e c t i o n i n Poland, a painting of a r i d e r on his horse i n a landscape was discovered at the end of the l a s t century. It was immediately i d e n t i f i e d as a Rembrandt, but the character has to t h i s day eluded iden-t i f i c a t i o n . Polish writers have hailed t h i s as a powerful representation of a Pole, claiming him as a national hero. Other writers, on the other hand, completely disregard the supposed Polish-ness of the r i d e r and claim him as an a l -l e g o r i c a l hero or as a b i b l i c a l character. The painting comes from a c r u c i a l period of Rembrandt's career, and i t i s shrouded i n mysteries of i d e n t i t y and context. The painted representation of an unknown figure and his horse r i s e from the bottom frame almost to the top frame and near the l e f t edge almost to the r i g h t edge of the canvas, 4 6 by 53 1/8 inches. The mounted ri d e r demands the viewer's f u l l e s t attention as he and his mount press near to the surface of the canvas. The e f f e c t i s that one approaches the figure i n the same way as the personality of a commis-sioned p o r t r a i t , even though there i s not the same im-mediacy of time and place inherent i n the P o l i s h Rider. The sharp l i g h t i n g on the figure contrasted with the sombre colours of the background from another l i g h t source empha-sizes the predominant figure. The predominance i s reinforced by more precise rendering of t h i s area and by the more 2 complicated brushwork on t h i s part of the surface. The r i d e r moves through the landscape from l e f t to rig h t . He i s casually seated on a grey horse which seems to be moving e a s i l y but not gracefully across the ground. The top of the canvas contains a l l the figure except his rig h t leg, the head of the horse and the undulating landscape which r i s e s behind the figure to provide a backdrop for both the figure and the horse. The curve of the horizon provides a flow for the d i r e c t i o n of the horse and r i d e r , and i s interrupted only by the crown of the hat of the r i d e r . Be-yond the horizon the sky i s p a r t i a l l y l i t by a r i s i n g or setting sun. The r i d e r seems to have been momentarily distracted by something he i s just passing, to the l e f t of the viewer. He i s not looking at the viewer, nor has he been completely halted from his passage. He continues the journey without emotion. The kutas, the animal skin saddle blanket and the corner of the coat f l u t t e r with the gentle swaying of the animal. In the lower t h i r d of the painting, only the legs of the horse animate the space, and far behind them i s the back-drop-style landscape. The grey horse tro t s (in seventeenth century terms: a Le Pas or Trot) b r i s k l y ; i t s excitement manifests i t s e l f i n the taut muscles and tendons, perked ears, f l a r e d n o s t r i l s , open mouth and high step. Only the obvious v e r t i c a l s of the tower i n the not too distant background and the rushing stream before his feet interrupt the forward movement of the 3 horse. The horse's gaze i s single-mindedly turned to the d i r e c t i o n of the movement; nothing has interrupted, even for a moment, his motion. It i s , perhaps, t h i s determina-tion of the horse that gives the viewer such a strong sense of movement. The w e l l - b u i l t and wide, muscled chest of the horse add to the f e e l i n g of powerful, forward movement, and counteract the gangly construction of the horse's body into which neither head nor legs seem to f i t , even when allowance i s made for the knowledge that the two iower hooves were re-done at some l a t e r date. The r i d e r clutches the reins i n his l e f t hand, a squarish not-clearly-defined f i s t f i t t e d onto a stumpy and too short l e f t arm. I t i s grossly inaccurate i n comparison to the complicated and more complexly represented r i g h t hand. Rather than a shadow (as the l e f t was) the r i g h t hand and arm are painted with deep contrasts of bright white accents and heavy brown contour l i n e s of shadow. The highlight moves around the torso of the figure and pushes out the foreshortened arm toward the viewer. The r i g h t hand presses i t s back against the r i d e r ' s waist and the fingers wrap loosely around the handle of a hammer i n a pose that i s d i f f i c u l t but not impossible. In the r i g h t hand, unlike the l e f t , d e t a i l i n g i s so i n t r i c a t e that f i n g e r n a i l s , knuckles and musculature are apparent. The gap behind the figure and before the background i s f i l l e d by an i n d i s t i n c t mass of water which moves l i k e the figures from the l e f t , out of a w a t e r f a l l , and across 4 the canvas to the r i g h t . The water then twists downward along the r i g h t edge to s p i l l awkwardly into the right fore-ground of the painting i n front of the horse's legs. On the edge of the water i n the centre r i g h t of the composition i s a campfire. A number of figures are seated around the f i r e that l i g h t s up t h e i r immediate environment and s p i l l s across the water, casting a warm r e f l e c t i o n on i t . 5 Chapter Two Historiography, part 1, early writings on the painting In 1883 Wilhelm Bode announced the existence of a Rembrandt painting that had been i n Vienna for r e s t o r a t i o n . 1 It wasn't u n t i l 1897 that Anton Bredius reported on the painting that was i n the c o l l e c t i o n of a Count Tarnowski i n G a l i c i a . Bredius quoted Bode that even at th i s early date "everybody seems to have a d i f f e r e n t opinion about 2 the painting;" however, there i s no mention of who "every-body" i s . Bredius saw the painting and described i t as unmistakably a Rembrandt, one of his masterpieces. Approx-imately four feet square, the painting shows a young man r i d i n g through a beautiful landscape. The setting sun l i g h t s up his c o l o r f u l clothing, yellow coat, red pants and golden leather boots, and his o u t f i t which includes a Turkish sabre adorned with s i l v e r ornamental work. A l i t t l e campfire i n the midst of a dark, fa n t a s t i c h i l l y landscape throws a mysterious l i g h t on the face of the 25 or 30 year old r i d e r . Bredius t r i e d unsuccessfully to buy i t but was able to have i t included i n an exhibition i n 189 8. This 1898 Rembrandt exhibition i n Amsterdam brought the painting to the general view of Western art historians for the f i r s t time. The catalogue entry l i s t e d i t as a " P o r t r a i t of a Polish r i d e r ; wearing the uniform of the 3 Lysowski regiment, i n a landscape." The entry continued with a b r i e f physical description and ascribed ownership 6 to Count Tarnowski at Dzikow Castle, G a l i c i a . The Rembrandt exhibition spurred a number of re-sponses to the Polish Rider. An immediate response was a romantic r e f l e c t i o n by F. Warre Cornish published i n the 4 Spectator. According to J u l i u s Held, Cornish assumes that the painting i s an actual p o r t r a i t of a Polish o f f i c e r . The poet speculates on the r i d e r ' s purpose and on his des-t i n a t i o n but he i s unable to penetrate the meaning of "that inscrutable smile." Held mentions also the response of K. Madsen who wrote i n Tilskueren "one of the f i n e s t and 5 most circumstantial descriptions of the picture." Again, there was a f e e l i n g on the part of the author that the r i d e r i s off on a mission of adventure. In 1906, A. von Wurzbach disclaims von Bode's a t t r i -bution of the painting preferring to ascribe i t as the work of Aart L s i c j d e Gelder (1645-1727).6 The Count Tarnowski c o l l e c t i o n painting i s described as a f u l l - l e n g t h Tartar r i d e r i n a h i l l y landscape moving to the r i g h t . He added that the painting had been i n Vienna i n the art market. In the same year, Bode published a description of the painting as a Rembrandt work and again as a Polish 7 r i d e r . The young r i d e r i s of noble o r i g i n . The horse i s g a dapple grey covered with a Shabrack. His lone yellow 9 tunic i s closed with a row of blue buttons. A mace i s grasped by his r i g h t hand, at his r i g h t side i s a quiver i n Oriental form, and he i s o u t f i t t e d with two sabres. The landscape consists of a f o r t r e s s , a w a t e r f a l l , a lake with houses on the beach and a campfire. Bode sees the rays of the setting sun on the l e f t . The painting was on exhibition i n London i n 1910 and was passionately reviewed by the painter Walter Sickert. He claims the painting as the property of painters, not of the press, c r i t i c s , curators, experts and so on. He i s convinced that t h i s s p i r i t u a l , not p l a s t i c , p o r t r a i t i s the face of Rembrandt's son. I t has to have been done from drawings and from remembrance of expression and character. Sickert, describing the horse's head, mentions "the ex-q u i s i t e looseness of touch and firmness of intention," and then l a t e r i n the short a r t i c l e gives an impassioned des-c r i p t i o n of an a r t i s t ' s response to the painting: Look at the amazing welding, i n one fluent impasto with the low-toned cool white, of touches, mere f l i c k s of porphyry and moss-green, here a hint of black and there a touch - a touch l i k e a spark that has come and gone - of red . . . . The l e f t arm and the hand holding the r e i n are done i n one painting, r i g h t and expressive beyond poss-i b i l i t y of improvement or need of reinforce-ment, masterly summarising. Sickert was i n love with the painting, and went so far as to condemn a viewer who had c r i t i c i z e d the handling of the horse's legs. In 1910 the painting was sold to Henry Clay Fri c k and transferred to his residence i n New York City. 1"'" In an a r t i c l e of the same year, Sigismund Batowski laments the 12 loss of the painting to Europe's scholars. He suggests that high taxation was the reason the painting l e f t Europe. 8 Batowski says that European research on the painting was well done, yet he does not point to s p e c i f i c items. In a note, however, he claims something that no one else has mentioned to date, that the Bode-Sedelmayer catalogue i s incomplete; "one could decipher i n the second l i n e of the ,,,13 signature pmx . . . . ' According to Batowski, the painting came from the Collections of Stanislaus Augustus, King of Poland, who had acquired i t i n Amsterdam through a government envoy, Michael Oginski, probably i n the year 1790-91. The painting was sold i n 1795 as part of the Warsaw Lazienki Palace dispersal of royal assets to the Bishop of Wilna, H. Stroy-nowski. Shortly l a t e r , a f t e r his death, i t passed to his brother's daughter, Countess Tarnowska, and the painting remained i n the family for 90 years. Batowski questions e a r l i e r reports that the ri d e r ' s i d e n t i t y was a Lisowski o f f i c e r . While i t w i l l beoseen l a t e r that the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the Lisowczyk i s of nine-teenth century o r i g i n , i t i s possible that Rembrandt could have seen Lisowczyk troopers along the Rhine during the Thirty Years War, or a si m i l a r o u t f i t worn by someone from seventeenth century Poland. "Yet the described person i s 14 neither a Pole nor a Cossack." He c i t e s the words of 15 Prof. J. Boloz Antoniewicz who saw the youth as a dressed up member of Rembrandt's society. According to the l a t t e r author the r i d e r i s actually the painter's son Titus at eighteen years of age, and therefore the painting should be dated 1658 to 1659. Batowski points out that Antoniewicz had also singled out what Batowski thinks was a more impor-tant element of his composition, that i s the peculiar form of the horse. C. Hofstede de Groot's catalogue entry i n 1916 i s almost i d e n t i c a l to Bode 1s 1906 description. But his des-17 c r i p t i o n of a decade l a t e r a l t e r s the size of the painting. While the measurements given by Hofstede de Groot were 117 cm by 135 cm. 1 8, those quoted by Bode, 1^ agree with the measure-ments given i n the 1793/5 inventory of Stanislaus II Augustus 20 of 109 cm. by 134 cm. Hofstede de Groot also notes that the painting was retained, i n an i n t e r v a l between the Tarnowski C o l l e c t i o n i n Dzikow and the Frick C o l l e c t i o n in New York, i n the possession of the London art dealers 21 M. Knoedler. In 1938 George Stout submitted a conservation report and description of the painting which reveals that the canvas had been r e l i n e d and that the paint surface, although re-touched,:* i s b a s i c a l l y good structure. In spite of the cloud of surface f i l m of old varnish Stout determines that "The p r i n c i p a l figure and his horse have escaped the amount 22 of loss and of renovation which the rest has suffered." In 1944, J u l i u s Held published the a r t i c l e "Rembrandt' 23 Polish Rider." I t i s the f i r s t comprehensive discussion of the painting i n English and one of the f i r s t to posit an academic evaluation of the subject matter. In the lengthy a r t i c l e Held deals with the known history of the painting, the Lisowski regiment, the costume, equestrian 10 representations, the horse and r i d i n g subjects. In a search for a d e f i n i t i v e answer to the question, "who i s the Polish Rider," Held d i r e c t s his attention to the con-cept of an Erasmian "Miles Christianus". Held i s enamoured by the apparent p a r a l l e l s between the r i d e r of Bamberg Cathedral and the Polish Rider. His study begins with the comtemplation of t h e i r mutual des-t i n i t i e s , both r i d e r s of the Ch r i s t i a n forces i n Europe. He then goes on to summarize much of the material men-tioned above and some of the P o l i s h material available on Rembrandt which gave d e t a i l s about the early history of the painting. The f i r s t mention of the painting appears i n 1793 24 i n an entry i n King Stanislaus II Augustus'. Catalogue. Held explains that, actually, Michael Oginski had bought the painting while on a t r i p through Western Europe. Contrary to Batowski's information that the painting was bought for the King, Held claims that Oginski may have 25 bought i t for himself and sold i t l a t e r to the King. Therefore, Held concludes, the painting must have re-mained i n Western Europe u n t i l 1790. Because of the p o l i t i c a l misfortunes of Stanislaus, the painting was crated and taken to Lazienski castle along with the other works i n the King's c o l l e c t i o n . Its location was then unknown u n t i l 1814, when, i n the dispersal of the King's assets, i t was sold to Prince F. Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, an opportunist and financier who founded the Bank 2 6 of Poland i n 1828. I t was sold quickly and for a handsome 11 p r o f i t to Count Hieronymous Stroynowski, rector of the University of Wilna and bishop of the c i t y . After the bishop's immediate death (in 1815) the painting was i n -herited by his brother, and then passed to the l a t t e r ' s daughter, V a l e r i a Stroynowska. She married Count Tarnowski and the painting came to rest i n his g a l l e r y i n Dzikow. Having traced the provenance to the Tarnowski c o l -l e c t i o n , Held notes that i t was here that the i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n with the Lisowski regiment originated. The name was suggested by a p a t r i o t i c Polish poet, Kajetan Kozmian, who 27 proposed the o f f i c e r i d e n t i t y i n 1842. Held then goes on to discuss the history of the Lisowski regiment, i t s founder, and other Polish heroes. But ultimately, Held rejects the Lisowski i d e n t i f i c a t i o n for a number of reasons: regimental colours and uniforms had not yet become a part of the armed forces, the Lisowski regiment died out two decades before the date of the painting. Dutch and German authors believe that the picture i s of a young Pole i n Amsterdam; Polish authors see him as a Netherlander i n Polish costume. In l i g h t of these opposing views Held goes on to explore the established t r a d i t i o n s of portraiture i n r e l a -t i o n to the Polish Rider. He notes that the f u l l - s i z e equestrian p o r t r a i t s l i k e that by Rembrandt i n the London 2 8 National Gallery and by T i t i a n were uncommon i n the Netherlands. These paintings, besides being large, made use of newly-established academic equestrian p r i n c i p l e s . "Cabinet-size" equestrian p o r t r a i t s , on the other hand, were quite common i n the Netherlands. They shared the larger p o r t r a i t s ' concern for elegance and d i r e c t eye contact between s i t t e r and viewer. However, as th e i r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n denotes, they are much smaller. The figures are usually placed within a wide landscape. According to Held, the in-between s i z e , the uncommon costume and absence of elements of p o r t r a i t elegance and pose preclude the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Rembrandt's Po l i s h Rider as a p o r t r a i t . If the Polish Rider i s not a p o r t r a i t , Held wonders, what role do the costuming and the trappings on the horse play? He notes that the new-rich Amsterdam people were i n the fashion of dressing up i n fancy-dress p o r t r a i -ture. He discards suggestions that t h i s was Titus dressed up i n Polish costume. Then, i n his discussion of the costume, he i d e n t i f i e s s p e c i f i c items of a t t i r e , the possible national o r i g i n s of the coat, the pants, the hat and the arms. Yet, i n a consideration of these i n -dividual elements gathered together, Held c i t e s 0. Goetz 1 conclusion "that Rembrandt generally made the most a r b i -29 trary and queer use of his Eastern models . . . " and himself concludes that the whole investigation into the nat i o n a l i t y of the r i d e r might be meaningless. However, in spite of such a conclusion, Held states, after discussing seventeenth century m i l i t a r y types, that t h i s i s not a true Cossack r i d e r , probably not a Lisowski, and not simply a student or merchant " i n such an o u t f i t , armed to the teeth," but rather i s meant to be i n general terms a m i l i t a r y figure from Eastern Europe. 13 From a d i r e c t physical i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the o u t f i t of the r i d e r and his horse, Held turns to the iconographic relationships of works from the f i f t e e n t h , sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as Rembrandt's works. With-i n the f i f t e e n t h century Held i s o l a t e s a s p e c i f i c represen-tation, that of the exotic foreign m i l i t a r y dress figure, and points e s p e c i a l l y to those of Turks as horsemen. In the seventeenth century Held i d e n t i f i e s the s i m i l a r i t i e s of 31 the work of Stefano d e l l a B e l l a . There i s a strong argument for the influence of the I t a l i a n printmaker from whom Rembrandt gathered ideas for equestrian representations, p a r t i c u l a r l y from sets of m i l i t a r y types which he worked into his personal themes and st y l e s . Held refers to a compositional formula used and developed by a r t i s t s other than d e l l a B e l l a where 'single figures pose large i n the foreground under a big sky. Held points s p e c i f i c a l l y to some of Rembrandt's etchings and paintings where Rembrandt had already been dealing with the equestrian figure. Closest to the Polish Rider was the Baptism of the Eunuch, an etching from 1641, i n which a mounted "Oriental" s o l d i e r dominates the l e f t side of the composition. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of these Rembrandt works, i n the l i g h t of the prints of d e l l a B e l l a and others, led Held to the conclusion that "there must have been some spe c i a l impetus which induced Rembrandt to 32 occupy himself with t h i s theme." Held then turns his attention to elements within the painting: at thi s point, the horse. Horses within Netherlandish painting at t h i s time, even i n Rembrandt's work, are generally depicted as the "Spanish-type"; they are horses with well-rounded b e l l i e s , flowing manes and long wavy t a i l s . The Polish Rider's horse, though, was emaciated and small i n r e l a t i o n to the figure. Held turns to a s p e c i f i c example- i n Rembrandt's drawings: that of the Skeleton Rider i n the Darmstadt Museum. Here he i s i n t e r e s t -ed i n the process of Rembrandt's development of the horse i n the Polish Rider. Held explores the possible o r i g i n s of the drawing;; c e r t a i n l y , he f e e l s , i t comes from the ana-tomical theatres of the Netherlands. He did not f i n d the exact source; yet he proposes that the execution of the drawing provided ideas for the painting of the Polish Rider. Throughout his paper, Held i s able to present numerous sources which he combines with his own perceptive observa-tions on the Polish Rider. His concluding section i s again supported by numerous c i t i n g s , each adding to the argument that some s p e c i f i c meaning to the painting may be f o r t h -coming. Yet Held's conclusion i s not so s p e c i f i c . I t i s , of course, a young r i d e r on horseback. Held says i t may be a representative hero of Eastern Europe, someone known through legends to the people of the Netherlands. He would then be equated with the Ch r i s t i a n forces f i g h t i n g against the i n f i d e l Turks - and Tartars. He i s , according to Held, much l i k e the ri d e r i n Durer's Knight, Death, and the Devil, and l i k e Durer's figure i s a more n a t u r a l i s t i c expression of Erasmus' "Miles Christianus." For Held, seeing i n the 15 Polish Rider the s p i r i t of the Crusaders and the antithesis of much of Rembrandt's contemporary work on old people (that i s , of uncertainty and inner moral c o n f l i c t ) , t h i s painting by Rembrandt i s a symbol of youth and Erasmian strength. W.S. Valentiner, sees more than simply a p o r t r a i t of 33 a soldxer xn Amsterdam i n the Polish Rider. His a r t i c l e on h i s t o r i c a l portraiture also touches on two other paint-ings, an Oriental and The Falconer. In them, as i n the f i n a l section on Gysbrecht van Aemstel \_the Polish Rider] , Valentiner describes Rembrandt's h i s t o r i c a l p o r t r a i t s as fantastic creations. Commenting on the tendency of Baroque culture to i d e n t i f y persons through t r a d i t i o n a l l y accepted c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s rather than through n a t u r a l i s t i c physiog-nomy, he c i t e s an instance i n which Rembrandt himself seems to have accepted the transformation of one of his paintings of a Jew into a p r i n t of the Ch r i s t i a n heretic Jan van Leyden. Valentiner also feels that Rembrandt's work after the 1650's follows a general trend i n Amsterdam to ignore B i b l i c a l themes i n favour of patriotism. He presents the p o s s i b i l i t y that Rembrandt was part of the Muiden c i r c l e , a group of famous poets, philosophers and a r t i s t s i n i t i a t e d by Constantin Huygens and Caspar van Baerle and led by T.C. Hooft. In the case of the Polish Rider, Valentiner f e e l s that i t i s the product of Rembrandt's need to attach himself to a c t u a l i t y i n his symbolical, a l l e g o r i c a l works. Valentiner 34 concludes i t must be a b i b l i c a l or h i s t o r i c a l character; he once thought i t was Esau, but has since discarded that 16 proposition. Valentiner thinks, rather, that one could assert that the costume i s Polish, or nearly so, while the person i s Dutch. He goes on to say that the elements of both the figure and the landscape are appropriate to the figure of Gysbrecht van Aemstel, a thirteenth or fourteenth century folk hero of the Dutch. Gysbrecht has been one of the f i r s t masters of the c i t y of Amsterdam, but had l e f t Holland a f t e r a con-spiracy against Count F l o r i s . He escaped to East Prussia (Poland) where he established the town of New Holland. He l a t e r returned to Amsterdam but was driven out f i n a l l y by warring peasants from neighbouring provinces. Valentiner also c i t e s the popular play,"Gijsbrecht," of 1638 by Vondel. Besides the general hero image of Gysbrecht that Valentiner makes note of, he mentions the psychological transformation that Rembrandt may have been working toward. The old man Gysbrecht (as he was i n l i t e r a r y references) becomes here i n the Polish Rider a young hero, t y p i c a l of Rembrandt's heroes i n the 1650's. Thus Rembrandt was able to represent one of the greatest Dutch heroes of the Middle Ages. In early 1950 the Polish Rider was inspected and subsequently restored by William Suhr. He notes that the o r i g i n a l paint i s e s p e c i a l l y sensitive i n t h i s picture, and that the reds and ochres (as expected) are more sensi t i v e than any others. He notes that there are various punctures and paint losses on the canvas; i n p a r t i c u l a r , there i s a 17 row of n a i l holes, now f i l l e d with gesso, about 1 3/4 inches from the top of the painting. Suhr mentions a s i g n i f i c a n t correction to Held's 37 observations of 1944. "The dark, semi-circular shape i n front of the cap i s not due 'to accident or design by a 3 8 former r e s t o r a t i o n . 1 " Suhr blames the conclusion of him-s e l f and Held on the dark, opaque varnish. He can only explain the shape as a darker piece of fur and hair . Another s i g n i f i c a n t observation made by Suhr refers to the legs and hooves. He notes that an added s t r i p at the bottom of the canvas (according to Held i t i s 8 to 9 cm. wide) may not be contemporaneous to Rembrandt's time and so raises the problem of the authenticity of the two lower hooves. Of the four hooves only the r i g h t foreleg looks finished; the other three are only blocked i n . This obser-vation of Suhr's can be confirmed by simple examination of the painting - only the ri g h t foreleg has strong l i g h t f a l l -ing upon i t and corresponding bright accents of colour. But, Suhr further wonders i f the lower hooves were restored according to Rembrandt's design or the Darmstadt drawing. The Treatment Report then goes on to note some "un-expected, r i c h d e t a i l s : the blue-green mountain dome . . . behind the tower with a dash of red" and "Narrow brush marks along the r i g h t edge of the tower, i n the blue of the mount-ain behind," and i n other places rose-madder dashes i n the lower foreground at r i g h t . Suhr notes that there were a number of pentimenti: arrows once i n the place of the elbow; 18 a higher bow, the ri d e r ' s leg, a longer coat, and a t h r i c e -changed b i t . I t seems to Suhr that the "R", the l a s t vestige of signature, does not conform to a t y p i c a l Rembrandt signa-ture, although he uses t h i s remnant to propose the loss of canvas (approximately f i v e inches) along the r i g h t side. He also proposes that the same width ( i . e . f i v e inches) should be added to the l e f t side and some to the top of the canvas. After his examination Suhr went on to retouch paint losses on the canvas and then to apply coats of varnish to the painting Ten years l a t e r , Andrew Ciechanowiecki announced his discovery of a l e t t e r which provided evidence of the early 39 history and ownership of the Polish Rider. Although he recognizes the important contributions of Held to understand-ing the painting and to making available publications from Polish sources, he wanted to bring to l i g h t some new points on the painting. Ciechanowiecki notes that Michael Cleophas Oginiski, a cousin to the King of Poland, Stanislaus II Augustus, through marriage and Grand Hetman of Lithuania, had written a l e t t e r to the king. Although there was no date to the l e t t e r , the king had annotated i n the margin a date 40 received of August 1791. The whole contents of the l e t t e r are s i g n i f i c a n t , but two items are p a r t i c u l a r l y important. Oginski said he 41 had "a Cossack, whom Reinbrand had set on his horse." This appellation became the painting's t i t l e and was recorded 42 i n the King's inventories. And Oginski stated that the horse had eaten "420 German gulden." In spite of the use of the term "gulden," Ciechanowiecki feels that Oginski had written t h i s l e t t e r i n the Hague or Amsterdam sub-sequent to his stay and previous l e t t e r writing i n Germany. Ciechanowiecki suspects that, given Oginski 1s l i f e s t y l e of intr i g u e , the Grand Hetman purchased the painting for his own c o l l e c t i o n . It was the sole Oginski painting to pass into the King's c o l l e c t i o n . In 1810 i t was mentioned i n the diary of Countess Valerie Tarnowska nee Stroynowska. The future owner of the painting had seen i t i n the former Royal C o l l e c t i o n i n Warsaw. She saw i n the "shining-youth" not a peasant-cossack but a noble condottiere from the Lisowski regiment, perhaps even an ancestor, Colonel 43 Stroynowski, even though i t w i l l be seen that the Lisowczyk a t t r i b u t i o n was not to be attached i n p r i n t u n t i l Kajetan Kozmian's poetry was published i n 1842. S t i l l , Ciechanowiecki does see the painting as "a monument erected by the great master to the youthful v i t a l i t y , alertness 44 and suspense of a Polish cavalryman." 20 Chapter Three Historiography, part 2, recent art history a r t i c l e s on the painting In 1963 Zdzislav Zygulski wrote an a r t i c l e that examines the d e t a i l s of i d e n t i t y of part of the painted figure. The author, a s t a f f member of Warsaw's National Museum, writes from the approach of a c u l t u r a l h i s t o r i a n . The study presents a sharp break from art h i s t o r i c a l material which preceded i t for i t attempts to prove without a doubt that, i n spite of Held's thesis, the Polish Rider can be p o s i t i v e l y i d e n t i f i e d as a figure who i s an " o f f i c e r of Polish l i g h t cavalry from the mid-seventeenth century in costume and arms not d i f f e r i n g from those of the Lisowsk 46 corps." His study begins the scholastic battle between those who i d e n t i f y the painting as a p o r t r a i t of a Pole and those who i d e n t i f y i t as a h i s t o r i c a l or ..biblicalr narrative. Zygulski begins his a r t i c l e with a review of Held's work and conclusions. He i n s i s t s that Held had worked without the benefit of modern Po l i s h scholarship, but unfortunately i s i n turn used by modern Polish writer, such as B i a l o s t o c k i and Ciechanowiecki. Zygulski feels that modern research could be applied to solving the problem of the i d e n t i t y of the young r i d e r . In his f i r s t approach to the problem, Zygulski looks. the methods used by Rembrandt i s his workshop. While not looking s p e c i f i c a l l y at painting techniques, he discusses the important use of props and t h e i r a c q u i s i t i o n by Rembrandt. As Zygulski sees i t , these props were used i n the a r t i s t ' s early career to construct "analytic" h i s t o r i c a l or a l l e g o r i c a l composition, that i s , "each object i s de-4 7 fined c l e a r l y and d i s t i n c t l y . " In his l a t e r work, however Rembrandt constructed "synthetic" compositions, "people and t h e i r objects, landscapes and buildings i n an a r t i s t i c 48 • and ideal .unity." When Zygulski turns to Rembrandt's s e l f - p o r t r a i t s and paintings of his family and closer friends,.he.sees the same ostentatious display of a n t i -q u i t i e s adorning the people and the compositions. Included i n this exotica, Zygulski mentions Rembrandt's ar b i t r a r y "Oriental" dress of a number of Old and New Testament subjects (figures i n d i v i d u a l l y and i n groups). In his view of Rembrandt's work, however, there i s one area of endeavor where costumes and arms s u i t p e r f e c t l y the person to whom they belong, and that i s i n the r e a l p o r t r a i t . The Polish Rider, now referred to as the Lisow-czyk, belongs to t h i s category. "This may be proved by the analysis of his appearance, his costume, arms, r i d i n g pose 4 and gesture, and also of the features of the horse . . . ." Zygulski notes that the Polish l i g h t cavalry inher-i t e d a great t r a d i t i o n of mobility, courage and f i g h t i n g from close contact with Oriental people. Although there were among them Tartars, Wallachians and Cossacks, the major i t y were small Polish gentry or plebians who passed on a great f i g h t i n g t r a d i t i o n into Europe, u n t i l t h e i r ultimate a n n i h i l a t i o n i n the Second World War. During t h e i r history t h e i r weapons remained unchanged: "the sabre, lance, bow and p i s t o l . " And during much of the i r history they kept t h e i r horses, a special Polish breed, which disappeared i n the nineteenth century. In his discussion, though, of the national c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Polish cavalry, which Zygulski maintains was highly d i s t i n c t i v e , he includes a statement that i t was hot uniform. In spite of his claim for a type of Polish cavalry, he notes that many members from many nations and from many s o c i a l classes served, and that they presented a variety of costume and colour ( a l -though the pr e v a i l i n g colours were red and blue). In his h i s t o r i c a l description of the Lisowski reg-iment Zygulski f i n a l l y comes to the conclusion that Rembrandt' painting cannot be a portrayal of a Lisowski corps o f f i c e r , but, he i n s i s t s , "He could have met and portrayed an o f f i c e r of the Pol i s h l i g h t cavalry not d i f f e r e n t from the Lisowski 5 0 o f f i c e r s . " Zygulski i s struck by the uniformity of thi s painting and concludes that t h i s cannot be a reconstruction from second-hand sources of the figure. Yet when he turns to the horse he makes the sweeping statement that, "we must agree that Rembrandt was not very successful with equestri-51 an representations. . . . " This horse, Zygulski sees as not the best representative of the Polish breed, but a good and actual example. Zygulski also points out the features of the Polish r i d i n g s t y l e manifested i n t h i s painting. 23 Zygulski rejects the p o s s i b i l i t y that t h i s face i s that of Tit u s , Rembrandt's son. He mentions, rather, the new fashions that were brought home to Poland by f i g h t i n g men: from the East shaven heads and from the West shaven faces with long, curly hair. The cap, the coat and other parts of the costume are shown to have been imported into ' 52 and developed i n Poland. While Held had i d e n t i f i e d the inside of the ri d e r ' s coat, Zygulski notes that the l i n i n g was t r a d i t i o n a l l y brown s i l k , as i t was i n the Rembrandt painting. However, Zygulski does not benefit from a re-examination of the Rembrandt painting, i n which William Suhr had discovered the error of J.S. Held and himself i n concluding that the design of the ri d e r ' s hat was due to a restorer's mistake. Zygulski adds to the error by c i t i n g a "proper" reconstruction undertaken for him by Maria 5 3 Rychlewska. Zygulski also points out the d i s t i n c t i v e boots that the r i d e r wears, as well as the t i g h t f i t t i n g breeches. When Zygulski turns to the arms of the r i d e r , he continues to reemphasize the Polish e x c l u s i v i t y of the equip-ment. In the case of the hammer, thi s s p e c i f i c "national" style can be determined by the ".tiny ornaments applied on 54 the metal mountings on the haft." He adds the observation of the ri g h t hand holding the hammer, and concludes that the 55 gesture confirms the opinion that he i s an o f f i c e r . In a review of the sabre (on the l e f t ) , Zygulski traces the genealogy to swords i l l u s t r a t e d i n Persian minia-tures as early as the fourteenth and f i f t e e n t h centuries. The sword on the r i g h t side of the r i d e r i s actually an estoc, not usually used by l i g h t cavalry, but sometimes carri e d as a decorative piece of armament. Here, Zygulski takes exception to Held's claim that the positioning ( l e f t or right) of the sword i s determined by n a t i o n a l i t y . The bow, while being replaced by firearms at t h i s time, was s t i l used i n Poland as a sign of the noble class. The origins of t h i s fragment of bow could be traced s p e c i f i c a l l y to an A s i a t i c type produced i n Lwow by Armenian a r t i s t s . The saddle, too, was quite d i s t i n c t and d i f f e r e n t from saddles common i n Turkey, Persia, Russia and Hungary. Zygulski then, on the basis of his observations, concludes with three points: 1) The hypothesis that Rembrandt based the painting on second hand material of draw-ings or engravings of any other a r t i s t must be rejected. 2) I t would be hard to assume that Rembrandt possessed i n his c o l l e c t i o n such a com-plete and exquisite set of Polish costume, and arms and horse harness. 3) The picture represents an o f f i c e r of P o l i s h l i g h t cavalry from the mid-seventeenth century . . . .57 Half a decade after Zygulski's a r t i c l e , i n 1969, 5 8 Jan B i a l o s t o c k i published a study on the Polish Rider. In his research, B i a l o s t o c k i finds material that i s accept-able i n both Held's and Zygulski's a r t i c l e s . He feels that Zygulski has shown that the o u t f i t of the Polish Rider i s indeed Polish, and that Zygulski i s most l i k e l y correct i n stating that the picture i s based on a d i r e c t study of a 2 5 Polish r i d e r . However, rather than accept Zygulski's claim that the Frick picture i s a p o r t r a i t , B i a l o s t o c k i feels that research shows a more tenable suggestion that the picture represents Eques Polonus. B i a l o s t o c k i mentions.; Held's findings, e s p e c i a l l y that there i s no continuity i n the use of the modern name of the picture, the P o l i s h Rider. He sees the r i d e r as a general representation of an East European s o l d i e r . Although B i a l o s t o c k i thinks t h i s "emble-matic" role of the Polish Rider more naturally belongs to the graphic medium, he i n s i s t s on pursuing the motivation for the creation of the painting as an expression of the concept of Eques Polonus and Miles Christlanus. For his answers, Bi a l o s t o c k i looks to the c u l t u r a l and s p i r i t u a l l i n k s of Holland and Poland. He points out that there are very close l i n k s between Rembrandt and Poland. The Uylenburgh family, with whom he had l i v e d i n Amsterdam i n the t h i r t i e s , and into whose family he had married, had for three generations been connected with a c t i v i t i e s i n Poland. Rembrandt's sist e r - i n - l a w married a Polish C a l v i n i s t theolo-gian and Hendrick van Uylenburgh was baptised i n Gdansk. Bia-l o s t o c k i makes an association between the Mennohite t i e s of Hendrik and Rembrandt and a Polish dissident group known as the Socinians. According to B i a l o s t o c k i , the Socinians affected the r e l i g i o u s l i f e of both Holland and Poland. The main tenets of Socinianism include A n t i t r i n i t a r i a n i s m , emphasis on the human character of Christ and a highly developed concept of 26 tolerance. Many theologians wrote against the sect, and i t was f i n a l l y outlawed i n 1653. In spite of the clandes-tine nature of the sect, B i a l o s t o c k i feels that Rembrandt would not have adhered to the s t r i c t s i m p l i s t i c orthodoxy but would, on the contrary, have been attracted to the v a r i - i ous doctrines of the Socinians. He c i t e s the opinions of Hans Martin Rotermund and Hans van de Waal. The former sees a lack of bodily suffering i n Rembrandt's conception of Christ, while van de Waal sees Faustus Socinus i n Rembrandt's Faust. In any case, B i a l o s t o c k i i s sure that Rembrandt's genius would necessitate independent r e l i g i o u s and s p i r i t u a l thinking. Therefore,he concludes, Rembrandt could have very e a s i l y and probably been attracted to the broadminded a t t i -tudes of the Socinians. B i a l o s t o c k i maintains that the defense of the Socin-ians published i n 1654 by Jonasz. Szlichtyng would have been a s p e c i f i c document that could have attracted Rembrandt. A l -though the painting would not have been created s o l e l y on be-half of the publication, i t could have found i t s impetus i n the character of the author's pseudonym, Eques Polonus. Thus, Rembrandt would have incorporated the idea of the s p i r i t u a l hero into the image of the Polish Rider. Since the painting was done at the time of Rembrandt's f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , and since i t does not appear to be described i n the 1656 i n -ventory, B i a l o s t o c k i concludes that the painting must have been purchased by the time of the bankruptcy, and hence commissioned i at that time. B i a l o s t o c k i i n s i s t s on a s p e c i f i c conclusion: that the picture i s intended to represent an Eques Polonus. He i s quick to point out, however, that there are many fa u l t s and unexplained incongruities with his hypothesis. He notes some d e t a i l s he cannot explain: a wa t e r f a l l to the l e f t a boat on a r i v e r or lake with some people and;'a f i r e near i t some romantic scenery, the m i l i t a r y character of the r i d e r and the use of the painting medium, which i s less suitable for B i a l o s t o c k i ' s proposed subject than.'is the graphic me-dium. Yet, Bi a l o s t o c k i feels that here i s an answer that could t r u l y be placed within the context of the seventeenth century society of the Netherlands. 5 When Held re-published his essay on the Polish Rider, he l e f t his thesis b a s i c a l l y the same, adding only material brought to l i g h t by Ciechanowiecki. The publication also i n -cludes, however, a po s t s c r i p t d e t a i l i n g Held's reaction to a number of a r t i c l e s on the Polish Rider. Held points out the l o g i c a l problems of giving a young Po l i s h appearance to an old man running away from Holland. He disclaims, too, Valen-tin e r 's proposed rel a t i o n s h i p between Vondel, the Dutch seven teenth century playwight, and Rembrandt. Held sees no such rela t i o n s h i p . As he ponders Zygulski's a r t i c l e , Held notes discrepancies i n the a r t i c l e and c a l l s i t s worth " l o c a l . " l i t i s B i a l o s t o c k i , Held claims, who has brought Zygulski's a r t i -c l e into a more popular p o s i t i o n . Bialostockiihas .misunder-stood the personality and meaning of "Eques Polonus," the pseudonym of Jonasz. Szlichtyng and has mistaken Rembrandt's 28 motivation for creation. Yet another reason for Bialostocki's error, Held says, i s the nature of the Socinian movement, which was n o n - m i l i t a r i s t i c and clandestine. To conclude, Held rreiterates that the painting i s martial and secular. Colin Campbell discards much of what has been written 6 0 previously about the Polish Rider. His study seeks to show that d i f f e r e n t layers of meaning proposed (for instance, by Held an a l l e g o r i c a l subject, by Zygulski a l i t e r a l por-t r a i t and by Bi a l o s t o c k i an allegorical'..representation of a Polish knight) do not e x i s t i n the work, but that the picture f a n s into a d e f i n i t e category. When Campbell traces the h i s t o r i c a l comments on the Polish Rider, he notes that Held's interpretation has gained the most acceptance i n spite of Valentiner's observation that Rembrandt's i n t e r e s t i n a l l e -g o r i c a l subject matter was minimal. Campbell notes that,;even though Zygulski i s able to show that "some at le a s t of these elements of costumes and weapons very probably do have speci-f i c a l l y P o l i s h o r i g i n s , " ^ 1 there i s nothing to prove that the picture i s a p o r t r a i t . Therefore, Campbell proposes- to lay aside the problem of the possible Polish i d e n t i t y of the cos-tume and arms. In fact, he suggests that, i n view of the content of the a r t i s t ' s work, there i s no "special national significance to the Polish Rider's costume." Campbell then introduces two drawings, one i n Groningen and one i n B e r l i n , that he finds have elements i n common with the Polish Rider. In the Groningen drawing Campbell sees a similar hat, a sword hanging on the youth and another curved weapon on the horse, quivers on the horse (implying the presence of a bow), and a three-quarter length coat. In the second drawing Campbell sees a sim i l a r saddle cl o t h and a kutas. Equating them with the theme of the Prodigal Son, Campbell proceeds to discuss the development of the icono-graphy of the Prodigal Son i n the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and notes that i n the other Rembrandt works of the Prodigal Son, there i s more i n common with sixteenth century i l l u s t r a t i o n s . He next introduces a roundel series of the Prodigal Son from the sixteenth century. In one roundel s p e c i f i c a l l y , Campbell enumerates the s i m i l a r i t i e s to the Polish Rider: the passage of the horse from l e f t to r i g h t , i t s gait, the d i r e c t i o n faced by the r i d e r , his pose with hand on hip,the rel a t i o n s h i p of horse and r i d e r to the land-scape, and the inc l u s i o n of a castl e , which i s obviously a counterpart to the fortr e s s i n Rembrandt's picture. Campbell mentions that .tnere i s a great s i m i l a r i t y i n the l i g h t i n g i n both the roundel and the Polish Rider. He further points out that the l i g h t was probably the f i r s t rays of l i g h t , rather than a setting sun. When Campbell looks at the costume of the Polish Rider, he compares i t with an etching by Martin Van Heemskerck. Like van Heemskerck, Rembrandt chose such costume not for i t s h i s t o r i c a l authenticity but for i t s i n t r i n s i c character. The "Polish" character would not be congruent with the "Oriental" origins of Rembrandt's other b i b l i c a l costumes. Zygulski's assertion that such a Polish o u t f i t would not be available unless the bearer was also the patron can be disproved i n 30 l i g h t of the close connections between Holland and Poland i n the seventeenth century. His second assertion that the out-f i t i s of a Lisowski corps could not be proven to be exclu-sive to the m i l i t a r y unit. Again, Campbell re-emphasizes that arms, also, are not an h i s t o r i c a l l y authentic r e f e r -ence to the m i l i t a r y , but are used i n Rembrandt's work to 6 3 show "rank or wealth, e s p e c i a l l y i n youthful characters," and Campbell notes that other authors have expressed that 64 view. Before concluding, Campbell points to one l a s t e l e -ment, the posture of the r i d e r . I t further reinforces the allusions to a person of elegance and i n fa c t d i s -tinguishes the Polish Rider from m i l i t a r y types. The Polish Rider i s therefore c u l t i v a t i n g an elegance of bearing. The manner and the o u t f i t are t y p i c a l of any gentleman or cavali e r who would be equipped to defend himself against highwaymen.. So Campbell i s able to say, f i n a l l y , that the deeper meaning of the Po l i s h Rider i s to be found i n iden-t i f y i n g the painting with the parable of the Prodigal Son and thus with Rembrandt's devotion to themes of human weak-ness and divine forgiveness. In a l a t e r paper, presented i n B e r l i n i n 1972, Campbell for the most part r e i t e r a t e s his argument that the Frick painting be given the designation of the Prodigal Son. However, an important addition to the late publication i s the resume of discussion between Campbell and other art historians responding to his paper. 6 5 Amongst the responses 31 Bialostocki i s impressed with the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , although he would have l i k e d to see more proof of an iconographic t r a d i t i o n . B i a l o s t o c k i points out l a t e r i n the discussion that Zygulski has shown that the dress, arms and pose of the r i d e r are most conclusively Polish, and yet that such a con-clusion does not exclude Campbell's thesis. Renger adds a number of examples which he feels confirm Campbell's as-c r i p t i o n of the P o l i s h Rider to the Prodigal Son t r a d i t i o n . Von Simson wonders for whom and for where the painting was intended. The discussion brings out concerns that the Polish Rider i s a single scene, according to.'Campbell, i n contrast to the tondo example which was part of a sequence of a Prodigal Son cycle. The discussion also brings out the concerns of a number of scholars regarding the a l l o c a t i o n of importance to the national origins of the elements of the painting: on the one hand Held sees the figure as a sym-pa t h e t i c a l l y treated m i l i t a r y character, while on the other Campbell does not see the weaponry s i g n i f y i n g m i l i t a r y a c t i v -i t y , but rather n o b i l i t y , and that not from a necessarily i d e n t i f i a b l e region. In contrast to Campbell's approach, B.P.J. Broos re-6 6 turns to the propositions of Zygulski and B i a l o s t o c k i , that i s , that the painting i s a commissioned p o r t r a i t . Broos notes that Campbell has omitted or erred i n a number of his points i n the a r t i c l e : Campbell has disregarded Zygulski's evidence, he uses examples from series, he neglects the omission of narrative d e t a i l s of purse and dog and m i l i t a r y character of the figure. After noting previous authors' conclusions, Broos 32 decides that so many d i f f e r e n t solutions to a deeper meaning must indicate that the painting could only be a d i r e c t representation of a commissioned p o r t r a i t . , Broos explains f i r s t the painting's i n i t i a l con-ception as an equestrian p o r t r a i t . He examines Held's categories of p o r t r a i t s , reviewing the sizes of each cate-gory and t h e i r periods of currency. He points out that horsemanship was only at the timet.of Rembrandt gaining more popularity. Although Held has c i t e d the l i f e - s i z e and the cabinet-size p o r t r a i t s , Broos feels that the l a t t e r became current only af t e r the painting of the Polish Rider. There was instead, e a r l i e r i n the century, a hesita t i o n i n the use of new forms of po r t r a i t u r e . Broos brings forward an exam-ple which he feels i s comparable to the Polish Rider and which has s i m i l a r equestrian p o r t r a i t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . La  Promenade by Abraham Calraet, af t e r Albert Cuyp, i s approxi-mately the same size (two centimetres higher and, with recon-struction, twenty-nine centimeters wider). As i n the P o l i s h Rider, both figures enter from the l e f t i n front of the towering decor and dark background shapes; both horses rai s e one foreleg and one..hind leg while t h e i r r i d e r s are posed a r t i f i c i a l l y with one hand on reins and the other at the 6 7 waist, palm outward and elbow pointed toward the observer. The correspondences are s u f f i c i e n t for Broos to accept the Polish^ Rider as a commissioned p o r t r a i t , and to disprove _,. Held's contentions to the contrary. Broos laments the lack of recognition and acceptance of Zygulski's a r t i c l e s on the evaluation of the accoutre-ments of the horse and r i d e r . Zygulski 1s conclusion that these are Polish elements of a Polish l i g h t cavalry o f f i c e r are endorsed by B i a l o s t o c k i but are not accepted by Campbell or Held. Even though he looks to models of Polish r i d e r s , Broos finds cthat Lthey . are equestrian por.tr aits., l i k e those of Stefanor.della B e l l a . Broos agrees with Held that the depiction of the horse i s not that of a Spanish type; he maintains that Rembrandt was obliged to paint t h i s unpleasant type because i t was the Polish breed of the time, one that died out i n the late nineteenth century. He c i t e s descriptions by Weiden- .*'.. k e l l e r i n the nineteenth century and Lohneisen i n the seven-teenth century. Broos points out s i m i l a r i t i e s between Rembrandt's horse and d e l l a Bella's Polish: horses:. saddle-clo t h , high seat, bow and arrow, sword and buntchak, and the 6 8 thinness of the animal. Although the Dutch equestrian p o r t r a i t t r a d i t i o n a l l y uses an archetypal horse, Broos sees the prominence.of the horse's portrayal (in r e l a t i o n to the figure) as the s i t t e r ' s intended desire. Having provided the basis of a p o r t r a i t claim to the painting, Broos turns to the i d e n t i t y of the figure. He searches for a Pole who would have been i n Amsterdam i n Rembrandt's time, and who would have commissioned the por-t r a i t . He f i r s t establishes the prominence i n seventeenth century Amsterdam of Poles. There were students i n the u n i v e r s i t i e s and there were merchants. There are a r t i f a c t s 34 which point to the presence of Poles, such as the painting, Boy i n Polish Costume by Ferdinand Bol. Polish Jews had immigrated to Amsterdam as had P o l i s h refugees who embraced the Socinian b e l i e f s . Closer to Rembrandt's acquaintance, Broos shows the Polish connections of the van Uylenburgh family. Not only did Hendric'k van Uylenburgh have close connections with Poland, Saskia's s i s t e r , Antje, married the Polish theologian, Johannes Maccovius, Broos feels that i t was very possible that Rembrandt and Maccovius met. I t i s while looking at these sources that Broos notes that nothing i s known of the painting's early provenance. The f i r s t known owner, Michael Kazismierz Oginski, supposedly bought the painting i n the Netherlands and sent i t back to the King of Poland. Broos suggests that, on the contrary, the painting may have been i n the Oginski family since i t s creation. The cost of German gulden simply i s a means of putting a value on the painting equal to the value of the desired royal orange trees. Since the painting was i n the Oginski family, Broos traces the family genealogy. Broos focusses on two brothers who were students at Franekery Marcyan Michal and Jan, Oginskis, whose father had also been i n the Netherlands undertaking unknown business. Broos suggests that more research should be undertaken i n th i s d i r e c t i o n , and that the Oginski family may very well have commissioned the p o r t r a i t . Chapter Four A consideration of past historiography and pre-sent knowledge relevant to the painting's con-text i n r e l a t i o n to art h i s t o r i c a l determinants It .is not possible to combine, as B i a l o s t o c k i attempts, a l l the opinions published about the i d e n t i f i -cation and meaning of the Polish Rider i n order to a r r i v e at the true solution. There i s wide divergence regarding the function of the figure: somewhere between symbol and mimetic representation. I t i s commonly agreed that great importance i s to be attached to the figure. I t cannot .be assumed that t h i s i s obvious; the importance i s such that he i s i n the process of becoming an a l l e g o r i c a l hero. His evaluation i s reinforced (rather than diminished) by the powerful representation of the horse and the landscape. The emblematic character of the whole lends further weight to t h i s a l l e g o r i c a l image. The formal analysis of the painting has not to date been dealt with and i s unfortunately not possible within the scope of research of t h i s paper. Suhr, who i s noted above, has provided the best physical description. As he mentions, the painting contains' r i c h , unexpected d e t a i l s of colour and the brushwork enlivens the surface of the canvas. The palette, the complicated brushwork, and the kind of execution a l l point to Rembrandt's hand. Even i n those areas where art historians have 36 written on the painting, there are large gaps of knowledge. Held, Zygulski and Campbell have dealt with iconographical analyses of the Polish Rider, but there i s s t i l l not a clear understanding of the recognition of the meaning of every element within the painting. Neither the role of the elements i n conjunction with each other nor the r o l e of elements within the context of the mid-seventeenth century Netherlands has f u l l y been explained. Among s p e c i f i c iconographical items, the o r i g i n a l state of the hat has already been brought into question. The bow, too, has an ambiguous form. Both the bow and quiver belong to a s p e c i f i c A s i a t i c type made by Armenian artisans, yet Zygulski maintains that t h i s small fragment of represen-tat i o n could p o s i t i v e l y be i d e n t i f i e d as a bow that could originate only from Lwow. The state of the under-painting suggests, however, that the bow was not only changed i n position, but that i t s form was closer to the contemporary representations of Turkish bows, that i s , with more back curve on the end of the bow. By Zygulski's own words the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n points generally to East Europe. The sad-dle, for instance, i s said to be "of Polish and Cossack 69 s t y l e . " The saddles i n the State Armoury Museum i n Moscow, for instance, come from such diverse areas as Iran, Poland and Turkey, and each shows elements similar to those found i n the saddle of the Polish Rider, even though none 70 exclusively can claim kinship to the painted saddle. One of the sabres Zygulski i d e n t i f i e s as a Mongolian type i s used in Turkey, Persia and Hungary, as well as Poland. The horse i n the Polish Rider, l i k e the costume, has been investigated for i t s i d e n t i t y and purpose. Z y g u l s k i i n this..connection, makes the claim, "To begin with we must agree that Rembrandt was not very successful i n 71 equestrian representations." From the apparently commonly known statement, Zygulski concludes (without clear logic) that the Polish Rider, such a u n i f i e d p o r t r a i t , must be a r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a i t . Although other authors agree that clearer i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the painting as a whole i s necessary, there are only Zygulski's comments and Held's b r i e f comments re f e r r i n g to the Spanish type horse. There i s a curious _ change of approach by the majority of authors, including Held. Rather than concern themselves with an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the horse from contemporary records, they concentrate on 72 the horse as i t i s portrayed i n equestrian pictures. Although there i s some confusion in seventeenth century accounts of horsemanship, i t i s clear that patterns had been developing since the previous century i n breeds of horses, r i d i n g styles and other aspects of horsemanship. Thomas Blundeville, for instance, had written i n the sixteenth cen-73 tury about horsemanship i n at least two publications. His descriptions, turif ort.unately, are vague enough to elude speci-f i c application to Rembrandt's Po l i s h Rider, but they do point out that the horse represented i n the painting could quite possibly be found i n one of many places i n the 74 Occident. More contemporaneous with Rembrandt's work was 75 the writing of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle. In his sections on national types he refers to, among others, 38 7 6 horses i n Poland. They r e l a t e , he says, to those c a l l e d 77 I r i s h Hobbys. Their proportions are the same as those for common horses and "guildins" of England. The rid e r s use -not b i t s having crosses that attach the reins, but only snaffles connected to the reins by simple rings. According to the descriptions by both Blundeville and Cavendish, the most f i t t i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a n a t i o n a l i t y of horses to be compared to Rembrandt's horse i s that of the Barb (or Barbary) horses. Blundeville mentions a number of types of Barbs but notes that they are generally l i t t l e , although 7 8 very swift, and able to make a very long "Cariere." William Cavendish thinks that the horse i s "a l i t t l e thin 79 and de l i c a t e , having something of the Ladies i n qual i t y , " but notes that the horse was cold and negligent i n i t s step and stumbled, t r o t t e d l i k e a cow and galloped near the ground. In addition to comments about the ease of dressing the Barb, Cavendish continues to describe the procedures for buying a Barb. From his discussion i t i s clear that t h i s breed was well known i n Europe, even very much bought and sold, and that i t was a common sight i n the lands. While i t may not be possible to pinpoint the speci-f i c o r i g i n s of the horse, he i s portrayed with enough par-t i c u l a r i z e d d e t a i l that he i s set apart from many horse types and within c u l t u r a l boundaries. What i s clear from the writings of both Blundeville and Cavendish i s that Rembrandt's horse i s not simply a figment of the painter's imagination. The animal could very well have existed i n Europe, and 39 not necessarily exclusively i n Poland. Rather than consider the P o l i s h Rider within the con-text of writings contemporaneous with i t s conception, Held brings forward one of Rembrandt's drawings as a c r u c i a l l i n k to the o r i g i n s of the painting. Yet his argument dwells on the emaciated, cadaverous condition of the horse's body, leading him into the comparison with the drawing of 8 0 the skeleton r i d e r . There are many discrepancies that are overlooked when Held promotes the drawing as relevant to the development of the painting. In the drawing the structure of the horse d i f f e r s markedly from that i n the painting; the neck i s longer and lower i n p o s i t i o n , the rear legs indicate none of the exertion and stress that those of the Polish Rider create, and the front legs push out against any forward movement (the l e f t leg stands p i t t e d against the ground while the r i g h t gradually, e f f o r t -l e s s l y curves from near the cannon to the abdomen). In the drawing also, the r i d e r s i t s well back, near the end of the r i b cage, i n a t y p i c a l l y Western r i d i n g p o s i t i o n . In addition to the costume and the horse, one more aspect of the Polish Rider can be considered for i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n , that i s the landscape. I t has, unfortunately, only barely been dealt with and i t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n or value to the painting as a whole has been overlooked. Zygulski claims that t h i s landscape, of a l l Rembrandt's landscapes, i s one of the "most r e a l i s t i c , probably based upon an 81 i n d i r e c t observation of nature," supporting his idea that the Polish Rider was painted at a s p e c i f i c place 40 and time. The elements of the landscape do not agree with t h i s proposal, nor can one accept the idea that t h i s sketchy, ambiguous landscape i s more r e a l i s t i c than, for instance, the etching of the Three Trees. Zygulski states, "The hypothesis that Rembrandt based the painting on second-hand material of drawings or engravings of any 8 2 other a r t i s t s must be rejected." Yet i s i s known that Rembrandt worked from other a r t i s t s ' products; that i n spite of his usually l i t e r a l approach to iconography, he did take iconography and v i s u a l constructions from pre-decessors' works. He was successful for the very reason that he was able to gather disparate elements into a u n i f i e d , powerful painting. Thus i t i s quite possible (contrary to Zygulski's assertion) ,:that t e n t a t i v e l y Polish elements i n the Polish Rider could originate from Rembrandt's re-nowned c o l l e c t i o n of exotica. Art h i storians wrote not only about the elements found within the painting. Many based t h e i r writings on e x t r i n s i c factors that affected the painting. One mentioned above was Andrew Ciechanowiecki, who has reported on part of the early existence of the Polish Rider. Rembrandt's l i f e was i n turmoil i n the years surrounding the painting's creation. No one has yet looked i n depth into the psycholog-i c a l e f f e c t s of such turmoil, nor has anyone examined c a r e f u l l y the bearing c u l t u r a l l i f e i n Amsterdam may have had on the creation of the painting at t h i s time. As mentioned previously, Valentiner, B i a l o s t o c k i , Campbell and Broos have a l l contributed to a better 41 understanding of the society i n which the painting was created. There are, however, discrepancies i n the under-standing of the r e l i g i o u s attitudes of the mid-seventeenth 84 century Dutch. Compared with Valentiner's assertion that i n t e r e s t i n r e l i g i o u s themes declined, J.L. Price claims that the middle years of the seventeenth century saw a f l o u r i s h i n g of movements for r e l i g i o u s renewal, 8 5 p a r t i c u l a r l y those of a r a d i c a l or ecumenical nature. And Muller reinforces the assertion that there was r e l i g -ious f l o u r i s h i n g i n Rembrandt's l i f e by reminding the reader that Rembrandt often returned to b i b l i c a l subjects a f t e r 8 6 producing p o r t r a i t s ; the presence of i n t e r e s t i n r e l i g i o n can be i n f e r r e d from the strength of Bialostocki's emphasis on r e l i g i o u s ideas i n his a r t i c l e . His a r t i c l e sheds much l i g h t on Dutch attitudes toward the Anabaptist movement. However, the 165 3 edict by the State General (which condemned the Socinian movement) was not p o l i t i c a l interference into r e l i g i o u s and moral.. t o l e r a t i o n , as B i a l o s t o c k i states, but was a response at the promptings of the theological concerns of the orthodox denominations and of Mennonites and Remonstrants 87 toward the whole Anabaptist movement. Rembrandt may have been influenced by the Socinian sect, yet B i a l o s t o c k i i s r i g h t to be cautious regarding e f f e c t s of the clandes-tine movement upon the painter. Rembrandt recognized some of the o f f i c i a l i t i e s of the Reformed Church and he con-sidered the diverse teaching of Catholics and Jews as well as Mennonites. 42 The Polish Rider i s one of two equestrian por-t r a i t s by Rembrandt, but there i s very l i t t l e s i m i l a r i t y between them. While the conventional P o r t r a i t of a Man on Horseback (Bredius No. 225), follows p o r t r a i t convention and displays the a r i s t o c r a t i c bearing of the r i d e r and the good breeding of the horse, the Polish Rider seems awkward and coarse as a p o r t r a i t . The P o r t r a i t of a Man on Horseback i s l i f e - s i z e and one of the largest extant 88 89 Rembrandt paintings. The horse performs a pesade and the r i d e r , dressed i n his f i n e s t c i v i c guard uniform, rides i n correct academy form. Unlike the "Polish" r i d e r , the s i t t e r for the P o r t r a i t of a Man on Horseback looks squarely out of the picture toward the viewer, t y p i c a l l y l i k e other p o r t r a i t figures. Unlike the mount i n the P o l i s h Rider, the horse i n the l a t e r painting looks l i k e i t has come from an amusement ride. The muscles are smoothed down, the hair i s neatly cut and curled and flows i n decorous folds across the neck and behind the horse. Isolated elements p a r a l l e l to the Polish Rider occur throughout Rembrandt's paintings, etchings and drawings, besides his p o r t r a i t s . Rembrandt used the combination of r i d e r and mount with a posture s i m i l a r to that i n the Polish Rider i n two other works. In the Stoning of St. Stephen (Bredius No. 531A), a painting from Rembrandt's early period, and i n the Baptism of the Eunuch (Boon 16 8), an etching from Rembrandt's middle years, the riders are positioned to the l e f t of the main event, a lone figure surrounded by secondary characters. Both of the riders 43 are dressed i n Rembrandt's O r i e n t a l - b i b l i c a l costuming (unlike the Polish Rider). In the painting the r i d e r wears a turban and a cloak while i n the etching the r i d e r wears an exotic headpiece and a long robe. While the horse i n the Polish Rider moves forward, that i n the Stoning of St. Stephen rears back from the action i n front of him, and the horse i n the Baptism of the Eunuch i s casually standing watching the figures i n the background. Unlike the Polish .-Rider' s horse, both other horses exhibit heavy musculature and full-bodied form; they stand i n sharp contrast to the tendon-predominant and small-bodied form of the horse i n the Polish Rider. In spite of the subdued landscape i n the Polish Rider, created by formal means, the setting makes a sign-i f i c a n t contribution to the content of the story. However, other landscape paintings by Rembrandt generally do not relate to that i n the P o l i s h Rider. One exception i s the painting, Landscape with a Castle (Bredius No. 450), which gives an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the kind of space that i s portrayed and the kind of grandeur which the structure on the horizon i n the upper l e f t of the Polish Rider i s meant to have. The crest spreads i t s e l f across the crest of the h i l l and dwarfs the human figure below to the r i g h t of the Landscape with a Castle. There i s a prophetic i n d i c a t i o n of future a r t i s t s ' attitudes towards landscape which w i l l eventually express i t s e l f as the concept of "the sublime." When t h i s grand scale of buildings i s juxtaposed behind a 4 4 figure on a horse the l a t t e r are presented with monumental proportions, and the space between the figure and the structure becomes ambiguous. The r i g h t centre of the landscape viewed i n i s o l a t i o n r e f l e c t s another Rembrandt landscape, Rest on the F l i g h t into Egypt (Bredius No. 567), although i n the case of the l a t t e r the landscape i s constructed around the elements of a new Testament story. In both the canvases, above and beyond the high r i s e of h i l l s and v i l l a g e , there i s a dimly l i t sky. Figures huddle beneath these h i l l s around a f i r e that l i g h t s up the immediate environment. Rembrandt has very e f f e c t i v e l y minimized the iconographic image of the Holy Family, which i s , naturally, very e a s i l y distinguishable i n the Rest of the F l i g h t into Egypt. Instead, a device i s created by the indistinguishable figures and other possible elements around the f i r e i n the Polish Rider that makes a strong contribution to the emotional l e v e l of the scene. It becomes apparent from the comparison with the Rest on the F l i g h t into Egypt and other constructed land-scapes which act as backdrops or stage settings to b i b l i c a l and .mythological s t o r i e s that the Polish Rider i s s i m i l a r to those works. In some cases there are one or two corners of the picture used for "zooming" back into the distance, to give the scene some space. Yet there are s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the setting of the Polish Rider and other Rembrandt paintings, and indeed with other seventeenth century Netherlandish paintings. The Polish Rider shares more with pri n t s produced i n northern Europe i n the sixteenth 45 90 century, e s p e c i a l l y i n Germany. There are works, for 91 example, l i k e "The King," c i t e d previously or l i k e some of Diirer's work. In Diirer's St. Anthony ( i f i t i s reversed) and less so i n his St. Eustache the landscape assumes a strong backdrop character; the contour of the land against the sky accentuates the figure i n the foreground just as i t does i n the P o l i s h Rider. As i n Rembrandt's painting, the horse of St. Eustache vies with the saint for importance. Other i l l u s t r a t i o n s generally contemporaneous with the Polish Rider are valuable i n providing i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of 92 some of the elements i n the painting. Only Zygulski makes mention of the boots worn by the Polish Rider figure, yet i n comparison with most of Rembrandt's work, t h i s r i d e r i s one of the few who does not have either wrapped feet, soft and limp footwear or the fashionable apparel of seventeenth century Amsterdam. The yellow boots with small, sharp heels are related primarily, i n the sixteenth and seventeenth cen-.' t u r i e s , to pri n t s with subject matter of Eastern Europe, i n -93 eluding not only Poland but very predominantly Russia. Not a l l comparisons with i l l u s t r a t i o n s i d e n t i f y e l e -ments of the Po l i s h Rider with Eastern Europe. Although Zygulski assures readers that the harness "matches the gen-94 e r a l s t y l e of the Lisowczyk," a p r i n t by Peter Stevens repre-sents;, the.Dutch William Henry, Prince of Orange, . . . r i d i n g a horse which i s harnessed very much l i k e the horse 46 95 i n the Polish Rider. This i s one of the few cases where the b i t i s the same style as that of the Polish Rider. The Prince's r i d i n g manner, also, i s similar to the r i d e r of the painting. He!holds the reins i n his l e f t hand, and they f a l l over his clenched f i s t . Although i t i s only Rembrandt's figure that displays the palm of his r i g h t hand, the Prince's bony arm assumes the same pos i t i o n as the r i g h t arm of his anonymous counterpart. The s t i r r u p s seem to come from the same f a r r i e r ; i n both cases they are slender, minimal constructions. The connection between the P o l i s h Rider and contem-porary i l l u s t r a t i o n s lends importance to an i l l u s t r a t i o n 96 from a series by Hans Wiegel. The p r i n t of a Muscovy r i d e r has been reproduced i n writings published i n Russia, but i t originated i n Germany, as can be seen from the 97 verse and t i t l e accompanying i t . The r i d e r of the s i x -teenth century p r i n t rides from the r i g h t to the l e f t a-cross a small clump of earth sparsely decorated with vege-tat i o n . Although there are many differences, the s i m i l a r -i t i e s between t h i s p r i n t and the Rembrandt painting are too many to ignore. Both ri d e r s s i t high up towards the horses' necks. Both are short-stirrupped and, i n spite of the differences i n boots and s t i r r u p s , both rest the b a l l of t h e i r feet on the s t i r r u p s with t h e i r heels turned toward the horses. The horses exhibit the same q u a l i t i e s inherent i n t h e i r breeding: small rumps with long power-f u l legs and powerful hooves. Both horses are f i t t e d with 47 kutas and short t a i l s , and they carry the same sty l e of saddle with high pommel and short cantle. The r i d e r s both wear the eastern joupane (that of the sixteenth century i s q u i l t e d and short-sleeved while that of the seventeenth century i s unstitched and has long sleeves) and fur-trimmed hats. Their weapons, too, are s i m i l a r : the bow on the l e f t side, the quiver on the r i g h t , and a sword hanging from the waist. Contemporaneous with such i l l u s t r a t i o n s as that i n von Herberstein's book was the development of the emblem and the emblem " p o r t r a i t . " The emblem p o r t r a i t since the late sixteenth century had gained enormous popularity. One which has a similar pose and setting to the P o l i s h Rider i s an anonymous sixteenth century German p r i n t e n t i t l e d , 99 "The King." The p r i n t i s one of a series employing p i c -tures and verse to describe vocations. The king i s por-trayed as a mighty Romulus who established the c i t y sur-rounded by walls on the Palatine h i l l . The c i v i l i s a t i o n that was established by Romulus i s defended by the king. In the background, just as i n Rembrandt's painting, a domed fortress with buttressed walls and high narrow windows ri s e s behind the king. In the same way as the painting, the fortress i s s k i r t e d by e d i f i c e s of a town and i s set against the sky i n the upper l e f t of the composition. In the Rembrandt painting the impact of the r i d e r i s less confusing and i s made stronger by the subdued, undefined portrayal of the town. 4 8 There i s l i t t l e doubt among scholars that elements of Eastern costume and accoutrements are present i n the Polish Rider. Zygulski has been able to point out the s i m i l a r i t i e s between museum a r t i f a c t s contemporaneous with Rembrandt's l i f e and with eastern Europe. His conclusions, though, for the most part have dubious relationships with the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s he i s able to make. The inconclusive, although at times revealing, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of elements i n the Polish Rider provides an i l l u s i v e basis for claiming the painting as a p o r t r a i t of some mid-seventeenth century patron. When thi s information i s coupled with views of paintings, pr i n t s and i l l u s t r a t i o n s of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there appears to be a strong case for ascribing the Pol i s h Rider to the realm of a l l e g o r i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l p o r t r a i t s . 49 C o n c l u s i o n While i t i s d i f f i c u l t to deny an East European o r i -g i n to the f i g u r e of the P o l i s h R i d e r , Campbell's a s s e r t i o n t h a t the r i d e r i s c l o t h e d i n O r i e n t a l / b i b l i c a l c l o t h i n g n e v e r t h e l e s s i s cmore i.congruent w i t h the mood of the p a i n t i n g / i n s p i t e of the modern appearance of the r i d e r . The argu-ments t h a t Held, Campbell and B i a l o s t o c k i p r e s e n t expose the i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s o f a r t i c l e s t h a t i n s i s t t h a t the P o l i s h  Rider i s an a c t u a l p o r t r a i t . I t seems t h a t the most c o n c l u -s i v e statement which can be made-.to date i s t h a t the p a i n t i n g p o r t r a y s a noble hero, who by v i r t u e of t h i s i d e n t i t y , i s a symbol of s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h . He i s not a dangerous s o l d i e r r i d i n g a beaten horse, but a well-armed t r a v e l l e r ready to defend h i m s e l f . The horse i s a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t of the i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e symbol. He p l a y s an almost equal p a r t i n the drama and helps to e s t a b l i s h a n a r r a t i v e sequence. He i s no o r d i n a r y horse and h i s i d e n t i t y cannot be i g n o r e d . He i s a f i n e l y tuned, long d i s t a n c e runner and h i s d e s t i n a -t i o n i s d e f i n i t e . The remainder of the p a i n t i n g i s a stage. A l l of the landscape s i t s i n shadow, and i s handled without r e s o l u t i o n . The f o r t r e s s - l i k e s t r u c t u r e , which a t f i r s t glance seems very s i g n i f i c a n t and which p l a y s such an important p a r t i n the composition of the p a i n t i n g , cannot be i d e n t i f i e d by l o -c a t i o n and i s most probably symbolic. The water p u z z l e s those who attempt to d e f i n e i t s course, y e t i t s very awkward 50 placement on the canvas makes i t bla t a n t l y present, e f f e c t -i v e l y separating the r i d e r from the h i l l s i d e and reminding viewers of the monumental intent of the structure. The elements of the painting lead to p a r a l l e l repre-sentations of saints and i n many ways the Pol i s h Rider does give the viewer the sense of the Miles Christianus which Held proposes i n his study. The ri d e r ' s bearing i s f u l l of s e l f -confidence and he conveys i t as he moves across the landscape. It i s unfortunate that the concept of the Ch r i s t i a n knight i s foreign to Dutch h i s t o r y . 1 ^ 1 In a search of one hero i n the seventeenth century who was both a saint and a knight and who f u l f i l l e d that i d e a l of the Ch r i s t i a n s o l d i e r , there i s only one character available. Reinoldus i s a medieval figure with three n o t - t o t a l l y distinguishable p e r s o n a l i t i e s . As a saint he i s not very well 102 known. .His biographies t e l l of his l i f e as a monk at St. Pantaleon i n Cologne and of his work on Cologne cathedral. After his martyrdom by jealous fellow stoneworkers, the body i s discovered by the Bishop of Cologne. Eventually, his r e l i c s are transferred to Tremoigne (present day Dortmund), which s t i l l venerates 1 him as patron saint. Reinoldus i s usually confused with Reinhold, Renaud or Reinout, the paladin of Charlemagne, whose adventures are re-corded i n the thirteenth century Chansons de Geste, "Les Quatre F i l s Aymon .•"1 ^  In t h i s story Renaud raises Charlemagne's an-ger against the sons of Aymon, by k i l l i n g one of the Emperor's close r e l a t i v e s . He spends his l i f e running from Charlemagne's forces. He i s aided i n his f u g i t i v e l i f e by his horse, Bayard, whom Renaud has captured miraculously i n a forest. The horse has magical a b i l i t i e s to grow to hold a l l four sons, and has amazing swiftness. Another aide i s Maugis (or Malagigi), a magician cousin, who accompanies Renaud on jour-neys through Frankish lands and to the Holy Land as a Crusader. Renaud returns to Cologne without either of his aides and ends his l i f e i n Cologne, i n an i d e n t i c a l way to the l i f e of St. Reinoldus. The t h i r d personna i s Rinaldo, a C h r i s t i a n knight fi g h t i n g i n the Holy Land. His l i f e i s touched on by Boiardo, then by Ariosto i n Orlando Furioso (whose protaganist i s the Roland of the Chansons de Geste): and f i n a l l y developed by 104 Torquato Tasso i n Rinaldo and Gerusalemme Liberata. This hero f a l l s i n love with a Saracen enchantress, but i s con-:.; vinced to return to his duty and to the C h r i s t i a n s o l d i e r s f i g h t i n g to win the Holy City of Jerusalem. In the end, his actions are "Christian" even with Armida, the enchantress, when he forgives her of her mislead ways and spares her l i f e . In all'accounts of Reinhold's l i f e there are s p e c i f i c references applicable to the Polish Rider. '.Iin the Chanson de Geste, there i s one point where Renaud and Bayard intend to ride from Orleans to Paris to compete i n a race arranged by ". 105 Charlemagne. In spite of the danger presented by the Emporer1 s knights, Renaud desires the prize of Charlemagne ':s crown and for his horse the honour of the fastest horse i n the empire. Maugis i s able to make Renaud's anonymity possible 5 2 through a magic herb that transforms the middle-aged Renaud to an inexperienced youth and the bay coat of his horse to a white. The magician insures lack of suspicion by tying an i n v i s i b l e thread onto the r i g h t forefoot of the horse, giving Bayard a lame step. Renaud i s , thus, able to ride through the searching forces and wins the Paris race. In Rinaldo's adventures, he too, must at one point pass through the enemy's front l i n e s . In Tasso's narrative, Rinaldo assumes the costuming of h i s enemies and he dons one of the Easterner's coats, which i s o r i g i n a l l y white, but transforms slowly so that i t emanates a golden shine, r e f l e c t i n g the inner s p i r i t u a l glow of the hero. St. Reinoldus' personality i s reinforced by the stories of both Renaud and Rinaldo. He becomes the Chr i s t i a n hero.who gladly battles against the pagan forces of the world. The combined stories and legends r e f l e c t a person-a l i t y which gives tangible i d e n t i t y to the Miles Christianus figure which Erasmus has developed. Nothing can yet be discerned of the impetus for the painting. But i t could be surmised that either Dortmund or Cologne had commissioned such a work. Both were among the closest "free c i t i e s " of Germany to Amsterdam. While Dortmund o f f i c i a l l y claimed the saint as t h e i r patron, Cologne never forgot the part he played i n t h e i r history. Both c i t i e s enjoyed the free borders that touched upon the Low Countries and both played a part i n the development of the new Republic. I t was only f i t t i n g that a great painter l i k e 53 Rembrandt could be a^part of that interchange. The firm i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Rembrandt's Rider with Rinaldo may not yet be possible. However, the pop-u l a r i t y of the hero/saint i n the seventeenth century and the a l l e g o r i c a l character of Rembrandt's painting makes the connection a p o s s i b i l i t y for consideration. 54 Provenance 106 Unknown before 1791. Possibly i n the Oginski family c o l l e c t i o n , 1656 - 1791. l u 7 Sale, Spring 1791(7), 420 German gulden. Bought by Michael Casimir 0 Grand Hetman of Lithuania.^ Ocj^nski (1728 - 1800) , Sold to Stanislaus II Augustus, Poniatowski, King of Poland, for 180 ducats. Possession unknown, 1798 - 1814. Josef Poniatowski C o l l . (Nephew of the King)(?). Countess Therese Tyskiewicz (?). Seen i n the former Royal C o l l e c t i o n i n Warsaw by Countess Valer i e Tarnowska nee Stroynowska, 1810. Sold to Prince Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki (1799 - 1846), 13 June 1814, for 150 ducats. Sold to Count Hieronym Stroynowski (d. 1815), 1814/15, for 500 ducats. Passed to Senator Valerien Stroynowski, 1815, into his c o l l e c t i o n at Horochow Castle, Volhynia. Passed to Val e r i e Stroynowska, daughter of the Senator, who married Count Jan Amor Tarnowski. Acquired 1834. In Vienna for restoration, 1877. In K.M. Knoedler G a l l e r i e s , London, 1910 ( ? ) . 1 0 9 Roger Fry acted as agent for Henry Clay Frick; painting bought from Tarnowski for 60,000 ($293,162.50). (Equivalent to 1,200,000 DM 1 1 0). Present locat i o n : The Frick C o l l e c t i o n , New York Cit y . 55 Footnotes 1. Anton Bredius, "Onbekende Rembrandts i n Polen, G a l i c i e en Russland," De Nederlandsche Spectator 1897, pp. 197 -. 199. 2. Ibid., p. 197. " . . . waarover zoo v e r s h i l l e n d geordeeld i s , en waarvan ik graag zou weten of h i j echt i s . " I must express thanks to Mr. George Visser with assistance in t r a n s l a t i o n . 3. The t i t l e i s translated from the French e d i t i o n catalogue entry, Rembrandt, C o l l e c t i o n des Oeuvres du :'. Maitre . . . (Amsterdam: Musee de l a V i l l e , 8 September to 31 October 1898), cat. no. 94. 4. Cited i n J u l i u s Held, "Rembrandt's 'Polish' Rider," Art B u l l e t i n 26 (1944): 246, n. 1. 5. Ibid. 6. A l f r e d von. Wurzbach, Niederl andi s che s Kims t i e r -lexicon (Vienna-Leipzig, 1906; repr.: Amsterdam: N.V. Boekhandel en Antiquariaat, 1968), v o l . 1, p. 573. 7. W. Bode, L'Oeuvre Complet de Rembrandt (Paris: Chas. Sedelmayer, 1906), v o l . 6, p. 164. 8. "Shabrack" i s a seventeenth century word o r i g i n a -ting i n an East European language. It refers to a saddle-cloth used i n European armies. From the Oxford International  Dictionary of the English Language, 195 8 ed. 9. Although one author a l t e r echoed Bode 1s observation that the row of buttons were blue (n. 16 below), an examina-tion record typescript by Mr. William Suhr (June - January 195 0) states that the row of buttons were always the colour of the coat. 10. W. Sickert, "The Polish Rider," The New Age, 23 June 1910. 11. The c u r a t o r i a l notes at The Fri c k C o l l e c t i o n mention that Roger Fry acted as the agent. 12. Sigismund Batowski, "Zum 'Polonreiter' von Rembrandt," Bl a t t e r flir Gemaldekunde 6 #4 (July/August 1910): 65. 13. Ibid., p. 65, n. *, ". . . doch konnte man mehr e n t z i f f e r n a l s , Re . . . jedenfalls i n der zweiten Z e i l e : 'pinx . . . .'" 14. Ibid., p. 67, "Boch i s t die dargestelle Person weider ein Pole noch ein Kosak." 15. J. Boloz Antoniewicz, c i t e d i n Ibid. 16. C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonne of  the works of . . . Dutch . . . Painters, v o l VI (London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1916), p. 163. 17. Held, op. c i t . , p. 248, n.18, attributes t h i s discrepancy to the reported restoration i n Vienna i n the nineteenth century. 18. These are the same measurements recorded i n The  Frick C o l l e c t i o n , An I l l u s t r a t e d Catalogue, Vol. 1: Paintings, American, B r i t i s h , Dutch, Flemish and German (New York: The Frick C o l l e c t i o n , 1968), p. 258. 19. Bode, l o c . c i t . 20. In a l e t t e r of 21 June 1957 to The Fri c k C o l l e c -tion (and contained i n t h e i r c u r a t o r i a l f i l e s ) , Prof. Bohdan Marconi from Warsaw c i t e s the painting's entry i n "Catalogue des tableaux appartement a sa Majeste l e Roi de Pologne, 1795." I t states that the painting was 44 by 54 P o l i s h inches, which Prof. Marconi states were equal to 2.4 8 cm. 21. According to Mr. William Suhr's typescript Examination Report of 195 0 in The Frick C o l l e c t i o n curator-i a l f i l e , his contemporary head of Knoedler's, Mr.::Henschel, claims that the firm has never owned the painting and has never had any transactions i n respect to the painting. 22. George L. Stout, "98, Rembrandt van Rijn, 'The Polish Rider," 1 typescript, 20 March 1938. 23. Held, op. c i t . , pp. 246 - 265. 24. Batowski, op. c i t . , p. 65 25. Cf. Ibid. 26. Held, op. c i t . , p. 249. 27. Ibid, p. , 250\-cites Batowski i n an a r t i c l e i n Lamus. The Batowski a r t i c l e i n Bla t t e r f tir Gemaldekunde i s not so s p e c i f i c . 28. Bredius No. 255 c i t e d i n Held, op. c i t . , p. 251. 29. 0. Goetz, "Oriental Types and Scenes i n Renaissance 57 and Baroque Painting," Burlington Magazine 7 3 (193 8): 112, c i t e d i n Held, op. c i t . , p. 255, n. 86. 30. Held, op. c i t . , p.256. 31. Ibid., p. 257. 32. Ibid., p. 259. 33. W.S. Valentiner, "Rembrandt's Conception of H i s t o r i c a l Portraiture," Art Quarterly 11 (1948): 116 - 135, 34. Ibid., p. 130. 35. This i s the most recent cleaning. I t i s known that the painting was cleaned p r i o r to the 189 8 exhibition by Hauser in B e r l i n . 36. Suhr, op. c i t . , p. 1. 37. Held, op. c i t . , p. 254. 38. Suhr, lo c . c i t . 39. Andrew Ciechanowiecki, "Notes on the Ownership of Rembrandt's 'Polish Rider,'" Art B u l l e t i n 42 (1960): 294 - 296. 40i Ibid., p. 295 a . 41. Ibid. 42. Count Henry Krasinski, The Cossacks of the Ukraine (London: P artridge and Oakey, 1848), p. 3, n. a, notes that "the Poles and the Russians mean by the word KOSAK, a brigand l i g h t l y armed." 43. Ciechanowiecki, p. 296 a . 44. Ibid., p. 296 b . 45. Zdzislav Zygulski, "Rembrandt's Lisowczyk: A Study of Costume and Weapons," B u l l e t i n du Mus£e National ^ Varsovie 6 #2/3 (1965): 42 - 66. 46. Ibid., p. 66. 47. Ibid., p. 45. 48. Ibid. 49. Ibid. , p. 50..' 58 50. Ibid., p. 55. 51. Ibid. 52. Zygulski reconstructed the hat according to information he received from an examination by Held and Suhr. Suhr, however, found during a re-examination that the hat was i n i t s . o r i g i n a l state. Zygulski's reconstruction i s therefore i n error. 53. Zygulski, op. c i t . , p i s . 18 and 19. 54. Ibid., p. 64. 55. While i t i s true that the presence of the hammer can i d e n t i f y the r i d e r as an o f f i c e r , the posture i s not exclusively that of an o f f i c e r , as can be seen from many Stefano d e l l a B e l l a p r i n t s (eg, an etching e n t i t l e d A Lady  Riding i n a Landscape). 56. Zygulski, op. c i t . , p. 65. 57. Ibid. , p. 66..' 58. B i a l o s t o c k i , "Rembrandt's 'Eques Polonus,'" Oud Holland 84 (1969): 163 - 176. 59. Held, "The 'Polish 1 Rider" and "The Pol i s h Rider: Postscript (1968)," i n Rembrandt's " A r i s t o t l e " and Other  Rembrandt Studies (Princeton: University Press, 1969), pp. 45 - 84 and 141 - 146 respectively. 60. Campbell, "Rembrandt's 'Polish Rider' and the Prodigal Son," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld I n s t i l ; tutes 33 (1970): 292 - 303. 61. Ibid., p. 294. 62. Another p r i n t from the late sixteenth century confirms Campbell's assertion. The p r i n t , by Goltzius and Saenredam, i s e n t i t l e d The Morning. Through .the windows i n the upper r i g h t a landscape shows a r i s i n g sun, with an a l l e -g o r i c a l dawn and two figures, one very much l i k e the Polish  Rider (same hand pose, reverse of the horse's step and t i e d up t a i l ) . The i l l u s t r a t i o n i s from Georg Hirth, ed., Kulturgeschichte Bilderbuch aus drei Jahrhunderten (Munich: Knorr & Hirth, 1882/90), p i . 1442. 63. Campbell, op. c i t . , p. 301. 64. Sickert, loc. c i t . ; F Warre Cornish, c i t e d i n 59 Held, op. c i t . , p. 45 n. 1; Clark, Rembrandt and the  I t a l i a n Renaissance (London: John Murray, 1966), p. 36. 65. Campbell, "The Identity of Rembrandt's Po l i s h Rider,'" i n Neue Beitrage zur Rembrandt-Forschung (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1973), esp. pp. 134ff. 66. Broos, "Rembrandt's P o r t r a i t of a Pole," Simiolus 7 #4 (1974): 192 - 218. 67. Ibid., p. 198. 68. Ibid., p. 202. 69. Zygulski, op. c i t . , p. 65. 70. The i l l u s t r a t i o n s come from The State Armoury  Museum of the Moscow Kremlin (Moscow: n.p., 1958), p i s . 229, 232 and 231.. 71. Zygulski, op. c i t . , p. 55. 72. I t i s to be remembered that Rembrandt often chose l i t e r a r y sources over v i s u a l ; hence the c l a s s i c example of Claudius C i v i l i s . 73. E s p e c i a l l y , Thomas Blundeville, The f Pure c h i e f y s t o f f i c e s belonging to Horsomanshippe. . . (London: n.p., 1566) . 74. Ibid., f o l . 4 - 7 . 75. I am c i t i n g from an extant French t r a n s l a t i o n of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, Nouvelle Methode pour dresser les Chevaux. . . (Paris: Gervais Clouzier, 1677). 76. Ibid., p. 57. 77. Blundeville, op. c i t . , f o l . 7, has described the Iryshe Hobby as "having a good head, and a body i n d i f f e r e n t l y well proporcioned, saving that many of them be slender and pin buttocked, they be tender mouthed, nimble, l i g h t , pleasent. . . and for the most part they be amblers, and therefore very meet for the saddle." 78. Ibid., f o l . 4. According to the Oxford English  Dictionary, "Cariere" i s a derivative of " c a r r i e r , " which means one who car r i e s or bears (something). 79. Cavendish, op. c i t . , p. 44. 80. Held, Rembrandt' s ."Aristotle, " pp. 71ff. 60 81. Zygulski, loc. c i t . 82. Ibid., p. 45. Zygulski contradicts himself: "Rembrandt represented people etc. . . i n an a r t i s t i c and ideal unity, i n an incomparable manner." 83. Ibid. Zygulski mentions Andries Pels and his poem, "Use and Misuse of the Stage," (Amsterdam, 1698), for Rembrandt's c o l l e c t i o n of exotica. 84. Campbell's conclusion, for instance, has no regard for the theological significance of the story. The stages i n the Prodigal Son story which would be important singly are the departure of the son, his a r r i v a l back at home, spending his inheritence or feeding the pigs. 85. Valentiner, op. c i t . , p. 129, and J.L. Price, Culture and Society i n the Dutch Republic During the 17th  Century (London: B.J. Batsford, 1974), p. 114. 86. Joseph-Emile Muller, Rembrandt (New York: Abrams, 1969), p. 168. 87. B i a l o s t o c k i , op. c i t . , p. 170. 88. It measures 294.5 x 241 cm. 89. A pesade, according to Francois Robichon de l a Gueriniere, Ecole de l a Cavalerie. . . .'(Paris: "the Company, 1769), p. 149, i s an a i r i n which the horse raises h i s fore-feet high while the hind feet stay firmly on the ground without moving. 90. Clark, l o c . c i t . , perceives the influence of sixteenth century woodcuts i n the a r t i s t ' s work of the 1650' 91. For example, i n the p r i n t of Prince William  Henry of Orange by Peter Stevens ( i l l u s t r a t e d i n Hirth, op. c i t . , p i . 265 3) where the horse i s walking, not running, but has s t i l l been given some in d i c a t i o n of movement, or i n the emblem of "The King," (Hirth, op. c i t . , p i . 1164). 92. I t i s surprising and quite i l l o g i c a l that Zygulsk should discount the value of "second hand material of drawings and engravings by any other a r t i s t " and claim that they "must be rejected." Zygulski, op. c i t . , p. 66. 93. For instance, the figures from the i l l u s t r a t i o n s by E r i c h Palmquist of 1674 where members of the Russian court are wearing_similar coats, hats and footwear as the Polish Rider. Cited i n A.E. Cross, Russia Under Western  Eyes, 1517 - 1825, f i g s . 20 and 35 - 37. 61 94. Zygulski, op. c i t . , pp 65f. 95. Hirth, op. c i t . , p i . 2653. 96. The i l l u s t r a t i o n i s copied for Charles Berjeau, The Horses of Antiquity, Middles Ages, and Renaissance . . . (London: Dulau & Co., 1864), p i . 51, where i t i s i d e n t i f i e d as a Russian on horseback, by Hans Wiegel, from the series, "Habitus praecipuorum populorum" of 1577. A more accurate reproduction was published i n Sigismund von Herberstein, Zapiski o Moskoitskikh Dalakh (St Petersburg: Izdanie A.S. Suvorina, 1908). 97. I extend my thanks to the Head of Information Services of the B r i t i s h Library who provided me with the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . 98. Among others, John Knipping, Iconography of the  Counter-Reformation i n the Netherlands (Leiden: W. de Graff-Nieuwkoop / A.W. S i j t h o f f , 1974) ,. passim,,, who...discusses the emblem's development i n r e l a t i o n to e c c l e s i a s t i c a l and humanistic influences on the Counter-Reformation. 99. See note 91 above. 100. Cf. the description and meaning of the domed structure behind the woods i n Arthur Henkel and Albert Schone, Emblemata, Handbuch zur Sinnbildkunst des XVI &^  XVII Jhrh. (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1967), p. 71. 101. In conversation with Adriaen Peetoon, Vancouver, B.C. Knipping, op. c i t . , pp. 92ff, discusses the contem-porary views of the Chr i s t i a n m i l i t i a figure. 102. Lexicon fur Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg im Breisgau: Vg. Herder, 19631^ v o l . 8, p. 1150; B i b l i o t e c a  Sanctorum (The Vatican: In s t i t u t e Giovanni XXIII d e l l a P o n t i f i c a Universita Lateranenses, 1968), v o l . 11, pp. 189 - 192. 103. Joseph Bedier, Les Legendes Epiques . . . (Paris: L i b r a i r i e Ancienne Edouard Champion, 1929), traces the devel-opment of the characters of "Renaud." 104. Editions of "Rinaldo" include: M. de l a Ranee, Le Renaud Amoureux . . . (Paris: Chez Gabriel Amaulry, 1724); Cavalier, Renaud, poeme en XII chants . . . (Paris: n.p., '.. 1815); and Steckfus, Torquato Tassos Leben, mit Proben aus  den Gedichten: Rinaldo . . . (Berlin, 1840). 62 105. E. Castets, Chanson de Quatre F i l s Aymoa (Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1974), p. 931. 106. Ciechanowiecki, op. c i t . , pp. 294ff. 107. Broos, op. c i t . , p. 214. 108. Ciechanowiecki, loc...cit. 109. Hofstede de Groot, l o c . c i t . 110. Batowski, op. c i t . , p. 65. \ 63 Bibliography Antoniewicz, Prof. J . Boloz. 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Sprawozdania z_ posiedzen Komisj 1 Oddzial PAN w Krakowie, lipiec-grudzieri 1964. 

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