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Manhood, Marriage, and MischiefRembrandt's 'Night Watch' and Other Dutch Group Portraits$
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Harry Berger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225569

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.001.0001

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The Preacher's Wife

The Preacher's Wife

Chapter:
(p.141) 9 The Preacher's Wife
Source:
Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief
Author(s):

Harry Berger Jr.

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.003.0010

Wives got a better deal in pendants simply because they occupied their own picture space, and it also implies that they had enough input and influence to affect the production ratio. According to David Smith, painters often treat the wife in a double portrait reasonably well—so long as her pose demonstrates appropriate support and devotion, a condition that by no means excludes emphasis on her autonomy. Schama reads the visual interaction between the sitters as “a portrait of a partnership,” that is, he reads it not merely as the iconic sign of an act of posing but as the index to a more enduring “relationship” and to its “essential human truth.” As the author's modifications of Schama's reading depend on that reading, they are vulnerable to the criticism leveled by Stephanie Dickey in her important new study of Rembrandt.

Keywords:   pendants, David Smith, Schama, wives, partnership, relationship, Rembrandt, Stephanie Dickey

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