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THIS absolute cracker of a book, new in paperback, and one of the British Museum’s best, is the 384-page lucid catalogue to a splendid exhibition held in the British Museum early last year which was as special and memorable as the museum’s Cleopatra show was not, being, unlike the sizzler herself, totally dazzle-free.

Rembrandt was the most original printmaker of all time and surely the most experimental, reworking and scratching at his copper plates to improve and extend their emotional and expressive power. The Rikjsmuseum and the British Museum own the finest collections of Rembrandt’s prints in the world, both with holdings in excess of 1000 impressions, many of great rarity. Thus, the exhibition mounted many of Rembrandt’s finest prints, a winner in terms of choice of images, quality of individual impressions and the range of early states, with much on the new research showing how Rembrandt worked on each plate and how and why he revised the images throughout his life. In art history terms this book must be one of the best on the subject and it is very well priced. Insightful and multi-illustrated; it is the business and certainly where some of my Christmas book tokens are going.