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Every Monday, 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 take a closer look at a work from our exhibition Glenn Brown – Rembrandt: After Life: Glenn Brown, Layered Portraits (after Rembrandt) 7, 2008 (collection of the artist).

In 2008, Glenn Brown created a series of etchings called Layered Portraits, based on reproductions of prints by other artists. One series, displayed at The Rembrandt House Museum, appropriates etched tronies, or fantasy heads by Rembrandt. As with his paintings, Brown transforms his source radically, layering various impressions, stretching and inverting them, using at times as many as fifteen tronies for each individual etching. This yields an entirely new effect, replacing Rembrandt’s vibrancy and human presence with unsettling, sombre ambiguity. Interestingly, some of the etching Brown has selected are themselves “improvements” by Rembrandt of etched heads by his friend and contemporary Jan Lievens.

In the exhibition Glenn Brown – Rembrandt: After Life The Rembrandt House Museum presents a selection of works in different media: paintings, drawings and prints. Brown’s contrarian audacity sticks out, his unique way of inverting the effects and aims of many much-loved works in the Western canon, including Rembrandt. It is with great pride and excitement that we present the results now, in Amsterdam, in Rembrandts home and workplace. One wonders what strands of conversation could be heard in the house had the great old master and this great new master met. The exhibition Glenn Brown – Rembrandt: After Life is on view at The Rembrandt House Museum until April 23rd 2017. More information:

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