For the first time ever, Rembrandts complete oeuvre will be on show in the special exhibition hall in the Beurs van Berlage (Berlage Exhibition Centre) over the coming summer. The exhibition, titled The Complete Rembrandt
, Life-Size, will show all 317 paintings, 285 etchings and the relevant sketches and drawings in near-perfect reproductions. A number of Rembrandts damaged and mutilated paintings will also be reconstructed for the exhibition. This unique overview was compiled by Rembrandt specialists led by Professor Ernst van de Wetering, head of the Rembrandt Research Project.
The Complete Rembrandt was made possible by the latest digital techniques which enable Rembrandts works to be printed photographically in near-perfect quality and full-size.
The exhibition will be held in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam through September 7th.
The Complete Rembrandt is a revolutionary and unique exhibition. Never before has the complete body of works by an artist of Rembrandts stature been exhibited together. Nor have reproductions been taken so seriously. The importance of this collection of Rembrandts entire oeuvre in reproduction form lies in the fact that each of his works is a significantly unique creation. In the case of Rembrandt, therefore, there can be no such thing as a representative selection.
Why reproductions? It would be absolutely impossible to realize an exhibition of all the original works. An exhibition of original paintings by Rembrandt could amount to 50 works at most, for Rembrandts are now lent out only in exceptional circumstances. This exhibition shows more than 700 works accompanied by texts that provide an overview of his lifes work and allow visitors to get the most out of the exhibition. A walk through this exhibition is a fascinating passage through Rembrandts artistic mind.
In several thematic presentations, Professor Van de Wetering explains the research undertaken to establish the authenticity of Rembrandts works of art. Rembrandt look-alikes still crop up that are certainly not originals. Even in his own lifetime Rembrandt was so famous that many young artists wanted to be taught the techniques and styles by the master himself. The result was the creation of many works of art that were for a long time wrongly considered to be Rembrandts. The Complete Rembrandt, Life Size exhibition shows how the more accurate collection of Rembrandts own works has been reduced to its current size. In another part of the exhibition, Ernst van de Wetering has reconstructed a number of works that were severely damaged in the course of the years, and even some works that have been lost. For example, two versions of the Night Watch are exhibited; a reconstruction of the original painting stands alongside the version that now hangs in the Rijksmuseum. Reproductions from contemporary engravings and other copies after lost Rembrandts will also be shown.