REMBRANDT HARMENSZOON VAN RIJN
Rembrandt (1606-1669) is considered one of the greatest visual artists in history. It is not an exaggeration to say that throughout the history of art, no artist dominated the field of etching as much as he did. Rembrandt created countless self-portraits, like a string of autobiographies that reveal the progression of his physical and emotional states. Still today, he is renowned a master of the self-portrait in both etching and paint.
An innovative and prolific master, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter and printmaker.
He is considered one of the greatest visual artists in history.
It is not an exaggeration to say that throughout the history of art, no artist dominated the field of etching as much as Rembrandt. In his etchings, one sees images of an intense personal and emotive power that make up a rich and complex body of work. These works stand as paramount examples of the artistic genius and technical mastery of Rembrandt. His etchings serve as a visual record of a relationship between artist and medium that to this day remains unsurpassed.
Throughout his career, Rembrandt accepted all variations of man, woman and land. He never sought the external ideal of beauty, which he felt lacked the distinct voice of true humanity. He appreciated that physical realism is less a hindrance than an aid to the rendering of spiritual significance – both religious and secular – in art.
Rembrandt’s etched work can be divided into three periods, each with a predominant characteristic. In the first period (1628-1639),
the pure etched line is the most common medium. The young artist was accustomed to holding back exuberant passion, using careful and evenrestrained draftsmanship.
By 1640, in the second period, Rembrandt’s work with drypoint, which began in the late 1630s, became a significant factor in his style, and its use in heightening the effect of light and shade is little by little more realized.
In the third period (from 1651 until his death), there is a remarkable increase in the vigor and breadth of the handling.
The lines of shading are more open, the forms less conventional, and the touch truer, more spontaneous, and less evidently conscious. Drypoint was used as much as etching, and chiaroscuro, now of-the-moment, was often achieved by a more summary method, though still rendered in some plates by closely hatched shading. In his lifetime, Rembrandt created countless self-portraits, like a string of autobiographies that reveal the progression of his physical and emotional states. Still today, he is renowned a master of the self-portrait in both etching and paint.
Museum collections featuring works by this artist include:
- Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
- British Museum, London
- Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon
- Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
- Detroit Institute of the Arts, Michigan
- Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California
- Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
- Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
- Harvard Art Museums, Massachusetts
- Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
- Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid
- Israel Museum, Jerusalem
- J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
- Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada
- Musée du Louvre, Paris
- Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires
- Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
- National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
- National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
- National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
- National Gallery, London
- National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest
- Nationalmuseum, Sweden
- Palazzo Pitti, Florence
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
- Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Royal Collection, London
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
- São Paulo Museum of Art, Brazil
- Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
- The Frick Collection, New York
- The Jewish Museum, New York
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence
- Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven