Rembrandt’s Insolvency: the Artist as Legal Actor

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Abstract

This article argues that Rembrandts legal dealings with regard to his ‘bankruptcy’ in 1656 usually did not go beyond the norms of his days and that the artist was well aware of the legal rules. This follows, for example, from the assignment of his house to his son Titus a month before he filed for the cessie van goede. This assignment must be considered as a promise rather than a conveyance which implies that it was probably not intended as a deflection of creditors. The same goes for the cessie itself. When filing for cessie Rembrandt knew that he was able to retain control and that there was a chance that the house was not sold publicly. This invites for an appraisal of Rembrandt not only as entrepreneur in an economic sense, but also as a legal actor manoeuvring through the law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages16
JournalOud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History
Volume134
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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