Every week, we highlight an artwork that is part of the collection of The Rembrandt House Museum, or currently on view at the museum. Today we would like to show you this artwork that is currently part of our exhibition Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: Govert Flinck, St Paul Seated at a Table, c. 1634-35 (on loan from Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).
By the time Govert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol went to work with Rembrandt they had already completed their initial training. Their objective was to master Rembrandt’s style and approach so that they could participate in the workshop’s production. This meant, among other things, that they learned to imitate Rembrandt’s style by copying the master’s work and drawing their own versions of it. Rembrandt made drawings as exercises in preparation for his paintings and prints, and since he had been working as an independent artist he also made drawings that served as examples for his assistants and pupils.
St Paul Seated at a Table occupies a special place among Flinck’s early drawings. This drawing, which was thought to be a preliminary study for a painting with an virtually identical composition dating from 1633, is now said to be a copy of the same painting. The background of this red chalk drawing consists of groups of slanting hatching lines.
On view from October 13th in The Rembrandt House Museum and the Amsterdam Museum: the exhibition Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck – Rembrandt’s Master Pupils. Many paintings are coming together from all over the world, from museums and private collections, for this double exhibition in Amsterdam. Some of them will be back in the Dutch capital for the first time since the seventeenth century. The exhibition explores the mastery of Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck in the seventeenth century at two locations that complement one another: training in Rembrandt’s studio versus independence in the art market.