From 17 May to 9 August 2009, the Rembrandt House Museum
will present a major retrospective of Jan Lievens (1607-1674), friend and rival of Rembrandt. A child prodigy, Lievens was one of the most highly regarded and successful artists of his time. Daring and innovative as a painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Lievens created a number of memorable character studies, genre scenes, landscapes, formal portraits, and religious and allegorical images that were not only widely praised and highly valued during his lifetime but also today.
Nevertheless, his posthumous reputation has never risen to a level commensurate with the quality of his individual works. This phenomenon is partly explained by the peripatetic character of his career, which began in his native Leiden where he shared a studio with Rembrandt -, but which also included extended stays in London, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, and partly by the range of styles in which he worked. This exhibition will, for the first time, present an overview of the full range of Lievens career, one that will allow a needed reassessment of his artistic contribution. It will include about 45 of his finest paintings, drawn from collections in England, Europe, and America, and a select group of his drawings and prints.