From September 16 until January 6, the exhibition “Rembrandt: Painter as Printermaker” will be on view at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 100 prints, drawings and paintings from Rembrandt’s 40-year career in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of his death.
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 principal 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.”
“Self-Portrait in a Cap, Wide-Eyed and Open-Mouthed” (c. 1630) by Rembrandt van Rijn © Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photography
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 towards 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.”
“Adam and Eve” (1638) by Rembrandt van Rijn © Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photography
“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.
“Head of an Old Man with a Cap” (c. 1630) by Rembrandt van Rijn © Courtesy of Agnes Etherington Art Centre
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. Daily tours will be offered with the general admission at 2pm; see the Denver Art Museum website for more events related to this exhibition such as lectures, tours, and workshops.