> Skip to content
  • Published: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141979533
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 768
  • RRP: $75.00

Rembrandt's Eyes



Simon Schama's gorgeously illustrated biography of Rembrandt, back in print for the first time in a decade

This dazzling, unconventional biography shows us why, more than three centuries after his death, Rembrandt continues to exert such a hold on our imagination. Deeply familiar to us through his enigmatic self-portraits, few facts are known about the Leiden miller's son who tasted brief fame before facing financial ruin (he was even forced to sell his beloved wife Saskia's grave). The true biography of Rembrandt, as Simon Schama demonstrates, is to be discovered in his pictures. Interweaving of seventeenth-century Holland, Schama allows us to see Rembrandt in a completely fresh and original way.

  • Published: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141979533
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 768
  • RRP: $75.00

About the author

Simon Schama

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. His award-winning books, translated into fifteen languages, include Citizens,Landscape and Memory, Rembrandt's Eyes,A History of Britain,The Power of Art,Rough Crossings, The American Future, The Face of Britain and The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE - 1492).

His art columns for the New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism and his journalism has appeared regularly in the Guardian and the Financial Times where he is Contributing Editor. He has written and presented more than fifty films for the BBC on subjects as diverse as Tolstoy, American politics, and The Story of the Jews and is co-presenter of a new landmark series on the history of world art, Civilisations.

Also by Simon Schama

See all

Praise for Rembrandt's Eyes

Its skill at reconstructing the artist and his age suggests that we no longer need look only towards novelists and poets for "creative" writing. The music of history and biography can be equally powerful

Peter Ackroyd, The Times

A capacious, generous book full of new ideas and information about not only Rembrandt but also his life, his times and his contemporaries. With Schama you look at a picture and see it as you hadn't before

Doris Lessing, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

With Rembrandt's Eyes, he has, as the cliché goes, found his subject - a perfect match for his talent and sympathies...moving and revealing...a Rembrandt very much for our time...[and] an extremely coherent, satisfying work

Alain de Botton, Independent on Sunday

[A] supreme contribution to art history

Anita Brookner, Spectator Books of the Year

A bravura performance...Schama is an outstanding historian...In this new book he brings to his perception of Rembrandt not only a profound knowledge of the seventeenth century, but also a greedy fascination with the material expression of culture in every nook and cranny of life...Schama deepens and enriches our familiarity with Rembrandt, and makes us understand more fully why he has often been called the greatest painter of all time

Frances Spalding, Literary Review

The Rembrandt riddle has now been tackled by that superbly gifted historian, Simon Schama...Schama speaks as an expert, but he wears his learning lightly; and few convey that learning more felicitously or fluently...this book holds the attention and fires the imagination...a portrait of the artist in the Baroque manner

Roy Porter, Independent

Sumptuous...Impassioned and learned, expansive and discursive, Rembrandt's Eyes not only leaves us with a fierce appreciation of the artist's work but also immerses us inexorably in his world

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Related titles