"For nearly four hundred years, art patrons, art historians, and art lovers have studied the work of the seventeenth-century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn and wondered at the dramatic, almost impossible vitality of his portraits. What is it that makes them so startlingly, vividly alive across each new generation? How was it that the artist managed to paint his sitters - including himself - so that they would always appear to be breathing the very same air as ourselves? How was the flawed, brilliant, mysterious man able to convey even the most imperceptible gestures - from the slightest quiver of the lips to a momentary tremor of the nostrils - with nothing more than ground pigment, ink, or humble etching tools?" "In Rembrandt's Nose, the respected American-born, Paris based author and translator Michael Taylor endeavors to answer these enduring questions - and comes up with an astonishingly original conclusion. Chronicling Rembrandt's life and artistic evolution from his arrival in Amsterdam as a brash young artist, through his years of fame and extravagance, to the penury and grief of his final years in bankruptcy, Taylor takes us into Rembrandt's studio and right up to his easel, so that we feel we can almost touch the rich mounds of paint upon his palette and smell the fat tang of linseed oil over the pitchy salt air that drifts in through the open window. He describes precisely how our eyes take in the paintings so that we begin to see more in each image, right up to the last defining highlight on the tip of a nose. With careful, elegant, and inquisitive prose, Taylor probes the mysteries of Rembrandt's legacy and offers u an immensely pleasurable read that is as light and witty as it is illuminating."--BOOK JACKET.