Museum to be Exclusive Venue for 'Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker' Opening Fall 2018
Showcasing more than 100 of Rembrandt’s celebrated etchings, drawings and paintings, the exhibition commemorates the 350th anniversary of his death
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will be the sole venue for Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, presenting new scholarship on rarely-seen prints by Rembrandt van Rijn as well as related drawings and paintings. The exhibition, coinciding with the 350th anniversary of the Dutch artist’s death (1606–1669), will offer fresh insight into the life and career of the masterful printmaker. Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker is organized by the DAM and co-curated by Dr. Timothy J. Standring, Gates Family Foundation Curator at the DAM, and leading scholar of Rembrandt prints Dr. Jaco Rutgers as a consulting curator. The exhibition will be on view Sept. 16, 2018 to Jan. 6, 2019.
The chronological presentation of Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker will showcase more than 100 prints, drawings and paintings from the artist’s career, spanning from 1625 to 1665. The combination of extremely rare prints, presented alongside paintings and drawings depicting similar subjects, will draw visitors in closer to gain a deeper understanding of Rembrandt’s working habits as an artist, and moreover, as a printmaker. The exhibition also will take a close look at Rembrandt’s innovative approach to printmaking that combined the three principle methods of intaglio, including etching, drypoint and engraving. By balancing these techniques, Rembrandt was able to produce prints that were highly sought-after during and following his lifetime.
“Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker is a unique opportunity for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Rembrandt’s artistic personality that is revealed through an illuminating presentation of his printmaking oeuvre,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Additionally, our visitors will see that Rembrandt was a remarkable storyteller through the finest impressions of his prints available worldwide. We look forward to sharing his incredible and timeless contribution as an artist.”
Unforgettable images of biblical, portrait, allegory, still life, landscape and genre artworks of the time will be featured throughout Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker to showcase the mastery that cemented Rembrandt as one of the greatest artists in history. The exhibition will demonstrate how Rembrandt used his view of the world around him to fuel his artistic journey, often using himself, family members and neighbors as models. It also will expose the various types of paper he used throughout his artistic journey for printmaking, such as oriental paper, wrapping paper and parchment, as well as European papers.
“Imagination, foresight and experience contributed toward Rembrandt’s creation of almost limitless techniques that led to his lasting mark on the history of art,” said Standring. “The exhibition narrative intends to show that he explored the boundaries of printmaking far beyond his contemporaries, yet absorbed much from them in order to address historical, philosophical, aesthetic and theological issues—all reflected dramatically in his prints as well as in kindred drawings and paintings.”
Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker will feature prints from the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, which holds one of the most significant collections of Rembrandt prints in the world. It also will bring together private loans, as well as significant loans from additional and prominent public institutions, including the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna; the University of Leiden, Leiden; the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Visitors can expect to see Rembrandt’s most acclaimed prints, several self-portraits spanning nearly 20 years of his career, the Hundred Guilder Print, View of Amsterdam, Three Crosses and Christ before Pilate. View of Amsterdam, one of Rembrandt’s first landscape etchings, portrays the city where he lived and represents a landscape only a short distance from home. The famed Hundred Guilder Print, depicting several episodes from Matthew’s gospel, incorporates more than a decade of harmoniously synchronized etching and drypoint to invent one of the most important masterworks of Rembrandt’s artistic career.
New scholarship about the artist will be presented in Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, setting a new standard in research on Rembrandt prints. This groundbreaking scholarship will reveal how Rembrandt intentionally varied the states of his prints, ink and exotic papers to create rarities that he knew his clients desired, demonstrating how he deliberately manipulated his prints for marketing purposes.
Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker will be on view on level one of the Hamilton Building in the Gallagher Gallery. The exhibition will be included in general admission and free for youth 18 and under.
A catalog entitled Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker will illustrate each of the works featured in the exhibition, with related figures, and will feature new scholarship presenting how Rembrandt intentionally fashioned his prints to appeal to collectors who sought rare examples of his impressions. The nearly 200-page publication will incorporate contributions from scholars Jaco Rutgers, Timothy J. Standring and Alisia Robins. The publication, published and distributed by Yale University Press, will be available worldwide, online and in The Shop at the Denver Art Museum in the fall of 2018.