In the first exhibit of its kind, the Metropolitan Museum of Art brings together self-portraits by Rembrandt and Degas at the start of their careers as a new way to examine the powerful influence Rembrandt had over Degas. Rembrandt and Degas: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a small collection of two dozen oil paintings, drawings and etchings curated from the Met’s own collection as well as loans from the Rijksmuseum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Bayerische Staatgëmaldesammlungen in Munich, The Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Morgan Library & Museum.
The mission of Rembrandt and Degas is to delve deeper into the reach that Rembrandt had over the direction of Degas’ creative process. Rembrandt soared into popularity during the 1850s, just around the time Degas was moving to Italy in search of a more inspirational art practice. Degas began studying the work of Rembrandt and would copy the Dutch master’s works into his sketchbook as a means of capturing Rembrandt’s style of far reaching tones, lighting, and shading effects. It was during this time that Degas began a series of self-portraits sparked by the 85 self-portraits that Rembrandt produced over his lifetime.
Rembrandt and Degas: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will be on view at the Met through May 20, 2012. The New York Times has a great slideshow of the major works in the exhibit.
Tags: museum exhibits