The most comprehensive exhibition of Rembrandt is coming to Australia in more than 25 years. This prolific artist from the Dutch Golden Age is known for his paintings and self-portraits. However, he was also an innovative printmaker. Explore his career over four decades at the Rembrandt: True to Life exhibition at NGV International. Journey from his early years in Leiden in the 1620s to Amsterdam in the 1660s. Discover over 100 etchings, and see iconic pieces loaned from public collections around the world. The Rembrandt exhibition will open on Friday June 2, and stay in town until Sunday September 10.
Rembrandt: True to Life at NGV
This exhibition follows the development of Rembrandt’s work. Admire and appreciate his reimagining of biblical subjects, his expressive style and the development of psychological complexity in narrative scenes and portraits.
The exhibition will focus on Rembrandt’s innovations in printmaking. He was the first artist to explore the possibilities of etching, and his works will be contextualised through loans from the Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the Teylers Museum in Haarlem. These works will be displayed in thematic groups of portraits, religious motifs, landscapes, nudes, and everyday life.
“The NGV is home to the most important collection of works by Rembrandt in the Southern Hemisphere, and this NGV-exclusive exhibition celebrates one of our major strengths: our outstanding print collection,” said Tony Ellwood AM, NGV Director. “Rembrandt was a master printmaker and his experimentation in the medium reveals his insatiable curiosity and sheer versatility as an artist.”
Important pieces on display include Diana at the bath, The three trees, The Hundred Guilder Print, The three crosses and Christ presented to the people. The ambitious etchings explore light, shade and complex narrative scenes.
One of the highlights is his Self-Portrait from 1659. Coming to Melbourne from the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, this painting shows Rembrandt at the age of 53, three years after he declared bankruptcy. Rembrandt made around 80 self-portraits in his lifetime, and you will see ten of them throughout the exhibition, tracing his changing self-image over 30 years.
If you’d like to learn even more about Rembrandt, world-leading Dutch art expert Dr Marjorie Wieseman from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. will hold a talk on July 31.