Rembrandt - a self portrait

Late Rembrandt at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Having just returned from Amsterdam and a visit to the  Rijksmuseum  I was so pleased to discover the presentation of the first major retrospective view of the late work of Rembrandt. This is  a once-in-a-lifetime event to see this  collection from the great Master of the Golden Age, Rembrandt van Rijn.

Over 100 works including sketches and  prints, from leading museums and private collections around the world, were on display in Amsterdam.

I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the paintings from the exhibition:

Rembrandt - a self portrait
Rembrandt 1659 – a self-portrait. National Gallery of Art, Washington

Rembrandt’s work underwent a radical transformation in the last eighteen years of his life (1606-1669).  His later work was more experimental technically and had a greater depth psychologically, emotionally and intimately. He made at least eighty self-portraits and studies of himself.  While he had turbulent setbacks in his last years, none of this drama is reflected in his self portraits.  They are introspective and no longer concerned with outward appearances.

Rembrandt - a self portrait
Rembrandt 1669 – a self portrait. The National Gallery, London
Lucretia by Rembrandt 1666 - Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Lucretia by Rembrandt 1666 – Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Rembrandt sometimes used a palette knife to apply thick layers  of often unmixed paint, or the butt end of the brush to make scratches in the paint.  He used this tool in the lower part of Lucretia‘s white shift, both sleeves and her right hand.

An old woman reading
An old woman reading – oil on canvas 1655. Buccleuch Collection, Boughton House, Northamptonshire

The exhibition was divided into ten chapters highlighting Rembrandt’s artistic motives. Repeatedly he used the themes of light, intimacy and contemplation.  His fascination with light extended to a combination of etchings and drypoint (lines scratched with a needle directly into the copper printing plate).  He made each impression unique by using different kinds of ink and paper.

Time slipped on by – I hastily made my way through the crowds into the main area, scanning and absorbing as  much information as possible  from these great walls, until I came upon one of my most favourite paintings from none other than – Vermeer –  The Kitchen Maid nestled beside  The Little Street   and many more.

The Kitchen Maid, Vermeer 1658
The Kitchen Maid, Vermeer 1658

In conclusion, the picture says it all

I love Amsterdam
I love Amsterdam

What a joy and a privilege to attend this exhibition.

The exhibition runs from

February 12 2015 to May 17 2015

at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Let me know if  you get a chance to visit.

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