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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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Manual Mischief: The Loneliness of the Red Musketeer

Manual Mischief: The Loneliness of the Red Musketeer

(p.195) 16 Manual Mischief: The Loneliness of the Red Musketeer
Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Harry Berger Jr.

Fordham University Press

Margaret Carroll resists the traditional view that unity was a positive value and that Rembrandt achieved it by “conveying the present-day activities of Amsterdam's militia companies and at the same time recalling their historical role as armed and trained troops in service to the city and the republic.” Inattention and self-absorption are suggested by other means. There is lack of coordination not only within the figure—between the slackness of the lower, gun-bearing hand and the finicky finger-work of the upper hand—but also between this sitter and the others. The obvious problem to avoid is an interpretation that reduces the sitters to unwitting targets of Rembrandt's satire.

Keywords:   Margaret Carroll, militia companies, red musketeer, Rembrandt, sitters, satire

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