28 May to 29 September 2016
This summer the Rembrandt House Museum is staging an exhibition entitled Rembrandt, the Etcher: Highlights of the Rembrandt House Collection. A selection of some fifty etchings in the museum’s collection will give visitors insight into the artistic and technical aspects of Rembrandt’s printmaking.
Rembrandt is one of the greatest graphic talents of all time. A passionate etcher who left an extensive oeuvre of around three hundred prints, he was admired by his contemporaries for his free drawing manner, his dramatic chiaroscuro and his bold experiments in etching technique. His prints have been a source of inspiration for countless artists, among them luminaries like Goya and Picasso, and still are today. Generations of artists have borrowed motifs and compositions from Rembrandt’s prints.
Rembrandt’s spontaneous yet assured drawing style is magnificently expressed in his etchings. The movements of his hand in this medium can be followed as precisely as in his drawings, and he endeavoured to make each print an individual work of art by varying the printing process. The Rembrandt House Museum has one of the most important collections of Rembrandt’s etchings in the world and its mission is to encourage greater interest in this extraordinary cultural heritage.
Every day there are continuous demonstrations in the artist’s former home, showing visitors how an etching is made. This experience of historical context is the perfect prelude to a visit to the exhibition in the new wing’s lower gallery. Enlargements of some of the prints in the exhibition illustrate the exceptional quality of the work and invite visitors to look more closely at the refinement of these works.
Left: Rembrandt, The flute player (Owlglass), 1642. Etching and drypoint, state III (4), 116 x 143 mm., The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam
Right: Rembrandt, Self-portrait in a cap with a plume, 1638. Etching, only state, 134 x 104 mm., on loan from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam