Rembrandt in Graphs. A quantitative data analysis based on digitised German-language auction catalogues between 1901 and 1918
Around 1900, everyone in art-historical, creative, and social circles was noticing Rembrandt due to tremendous publicity like the exhibition in honour of the accession of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina in the Stedelijkmuseum in Amsterdam in 1898, which attracted around 43,000 visitors despite its short duration of seven weeks. In addition, numerous festivities were held in 1906 to celebrate his 300th birthday, not only in the Netherlands but also in Germany. There were numerous articles, books and reviews in the German-language contemporary literature and press. With Rembrandt’s popularity, the demand for originals on the art market also grew, so that art dealers made lucrative and often cross-border deals with Rembrandt works.
Within this context, there is today a great deal of research on the history of Rembrandt’s reception as well as on the international art market of the time. However, how the hype about Rembrandt was specifically expressed in the German-speaking auction business around 1900 has still to be determined. This master’s thesis therefore analyses how the hype surrounding Rembrandt between 1901 and 1918 was reflected in the German-language auction market by means of statistically collected data from digitised and metadata-provided auction catalogues of the “German Sales” projects.