Larry Silver - "Jews and Christians in Rembrandt's Amsterdam"

Larry Silver will discuss the ways that diverse religions, led by the Calvinist majority, conditioned and responded to the artist's biblical pictures. Sharp distinctions will show how Old Testament imagery featured a sympathetic human response to the religious leaders of the Hebrew Bible at a moment when Rembrandt himself lived among Jewish neighbors (largely Sephardic refugees from Portugal). Yet Rembrandt's images of the New Testament shape a very different, often hostile image of Jews, particularly of the high priest and their Temple rituals, which Christians teach were superseded by the advent of Jesus.

Larry Silver, the Farquhar Professor of Art History, has been at Penn since 1997 after teaching previously at Berkeley and Northwestern. His special interests include painting and graphics of Northern Europe, chiefly Germany and the Low Countries, from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. He has published a variety of books in recent years: Peasant Scenes and Landscapes (Penn Press, 2006); Hieronymus Bosch (Abbeville, 2006); Marketing Maximilian (Princeton, 2008); Rembrandt's Faith (with Shelley Perlove; Penn State, 2009); The Essential Dürer (with Jeffrey Smith; Penn Press, 2010); Pieter Bruegel (Abbeville, 2011). In addition he served on the planning of the recent PMA exhibition, Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus (2011) and organized a major prints exhibition on monumental images at the PMA, Grand Scale (2008). He is the proud recipient of the 2012 Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence.

The luncheon will begin at 12pm on Monday, February 18, 2013 in the Hourglass Room of the University Club. Cost and University Club details.