Chapter

Manual Mischief: The Loneliness of the Red Musketeer

Harry Berger Jr.

in Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240937 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.003.0017
Manual Mischief: The Loneliness of the Red Musketeer

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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

Chapter.  1778 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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