Exhibition at The Rembrandt House: 1 February 2014 – 27 April 2014
The attribution of a work of art is a fascinating aspect of art-historical study. How do you recognize a ‘genuine Rembrandt’ and what distinguishes his work from that of his pupils and contemporaries? Never before has an exhibition focused solely on the criteria that a prominent art historian employs when making an attribution. An exhibition of sixty drawings shedding light on this work opens in the Rembrandt House Museum on 1 February.
The works include drawings by Rembrandt and by his pupils and contemporaries. What all these works have in common is that they have been attributed to seventeenth-century artists by Peter Schatborn. For more than thirty years he worked in Rijksmuseum’s department of prints and drawings, initially as a member of staff and later as its head. Over the course of his career he became one of the world’s leading specialists in Rembrandt’s drawings. He has been closely associated with the Rembrandt House for decades – formerly as a member of the museum’s Board of Management and now as editor of the Rembrandt House Chronicle. The exhibition addresses the problem of attributing seventeenth-century Netherlandish drawings. It explores Schatborn’s research methods, focusing in particular on the characteristics of artists’ styles and the arguments that are a factor in attributing a work of art. Visitors will be able to look over the expert’s shoulder, as it were, and so discover the intimate properties of the artist’s hand.
Rembrandt—or Not? Old Drawings, New Names is collaborative project between the Rembrandt House Museum, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Fondation Custodia in Paris, which have generously lent works. Other celebrated Dutch and foreign institutions have also made loans available, among them the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett and the British Museum. The exhibition features sixty seventeenth-century drawings of exceptional quality and will include an explanatory audio tour in Dutch and English recorded by Peter Schatborn himself. There will be two public lectures during the exhibition period. A 184-page catalogue (Dutch and English) includes colour illustrations of all the exhibited objects and explains the various aspects of the art-historical research for each work of art.