Rembrandt’s Polish Rider

USD $19.95



ISBN: 978-1-911282-53-2

84 Pages

235 x 190 mm (7 ½ x 9 ¼ in)

50 colour illustrations

In association with The Frick Collection, New York

December 2019


“This new series sparks a dialogue in essay form between creative spirits and art historians, promising fresh insights into some of the Frick’s best known master works”—Ian Wardropper, director, The Frick Collection

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2019 marks the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt van Rijn. This, the fourth volume in the Frick Diptych series, offers fresh insight into one of Rembrandt’s most romantic and enigmatic portraits, which has inspired many theories about its subject, meaning and history. If the Polish Rider is indeed a portrait, it certainly breaks with tradition. Equestrian portraits were not common in seventeenth-century Dutch art, and in such portraits, riders were usually fashionably dressed and their horses were well-bred. An illuminating essay by Xavier F. Salomon addresses the many questions of provenance, attribution and of who this mysterious rider might be.

In a creative, vibrant piece, New York based author and illustrator Maira Kalman, captures the elusive nature of the painting, musing about Rembrandt, being Polish, and a traveller, and her enduring fascination with the Frick.

Designed to foster critical engagement and interest the specialist and non-specialist alike, each book in the Frick Diptych series illuminates a single work in the Frick’s rich collection with an essay by a Frick curator paired with a contribution from a contemporary artist or writer.

Next volumes in the series include:

Vol 5 Titian’s Portrait of Aretino (with Francine Prose) Fall 2020

Vol 6 Constable’s White Horse (with William Kentridge) Fall 2020

Author biographies

Maira Kalman is an author, artist and designer who has created numerous covers for the New Yorker and written over twenty books, including, most recently, Sara Berman’s Closet (2018) which was a finalist for the 2018 National Jewish Book Award, and The Principles of Uncertainty (2007) a compilation of her New York Times columns which are part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, and part chapbook.

Xavier F. Salomon is the Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at The Frick Collection, New York. He is the author and curator of, most recently, Tiepolo in Milan: The Lost Frescoes of Palazzo Archinto (2019), Canova’s George Washington (2018), and co-author of Holbein’s ‘Sir Thomas More’ (2018, with Hilary Mantel, Volume 1 in the Frick Diptych series). He is the co-curator and co-author of the forthcoming Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence which opens at the Frick in September 2019.

Table of Contents

  1. Director’s Foreword
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Poor Rembrandt by Maira Kalman
  4. Rembrandt’s Polish Rider by Xavier F. Salomon
  5. Bibliography
  6. Index
  7. Photography Credits