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'Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition' opens at the National Gallery of Canada
Rembrandt van Rijn Landscape with a Stone Bridge, c. 1638, oil on panel, 29.5 × 42.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Purchased with the support of the Rembrandt Association and A. Bredius, Amsterdam (SK-A-1935). Photo: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.



OTTAWA.- One of the most celebrated artists of the European tradition, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) was multi-talented: a painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. Known for emotional authenticity and lifelike character expressed in all his work, Rembrandt created art that is broadly relatable and engaging. The National Gallery of Canada presents, from July 16 to September 6, 2021, the exhibition Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition, which traces Rembrandt’s development during the transformative central decades of his career, beginning with his move in 1632 from Leiden to Amsterdam.

The exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, presents more than 120 works, drawn from more than 30 prestigious collections and museums from across North America and Europe, including the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (Spain), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (USA), the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (The Netherlands), The National Gallery, London (UK), and the National Galleries Scotland, Edinburgh (Scotland). It brings Rembrandt’s paintings, drawings and prints into dialogue with stellar works by 20 other artists who were his friends, followers and rivals in Amsterdam, including Nicolaes Maes, Govert Flinck, Bartholomeus van der Helst, Jan Lievens, and Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy.

“We are very pleased to present this remarkable exhibition to the Canadian public,’’ said Dr. Sasha Suda, National Gallery of Canada Director and CEO. “Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition is an opportunity to introduce Canadians to a world-renowned artist and his milieu: art in the Dutch Republic. While building on the NGC's distinguished record of exhibiting historical European art, this exhibition and its related programming recognize that museums today, perhaps especially in North America, must acknowledge the broader context of colonialism. Doing so promotes inclusivity and enriches our visitors’ experience.’’




“Rembrandt treated a remarkable range of subject types in an era when many Dutch artists chose to specialize”, said Stephanie S. Dickey, Ph.D., Guest Curator for the NGC, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art at Queen’s University and an internationally recognized authority on Rembrandt and Dutch 17th-century art, who brought the project to the NGC. “Rembrandt was a prolific teacher and mentor who developed a brand that went far beyond his own work," said Dr. Dickey. "His life story is fascinating as well, marked by triumphs and tragedies. Amsterdam was an inspirational and dynamic milieu in which dozens of talented artists were competing for attention from urban consumers. The exhibition sheds new light on the art of Rembrandt and his circle as a product of this unique creative environment.’’

The exhibition presents a rich variety of paintings, drawings and prints that treat subjects ranging from myth and history to landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life. Included are internationally renowned masterpieces never before shown in Canada.

The first exhibition space offers visitors an introduction to Dutch culture and commerce in Rembrandt's time, then leads to sections devoted to depictions of everyday life, portraiture, historical subjects, and landscapes, with a special section on Rembrandt as a printmaker. A final section, entitled Beyond Beauty, brings the Gallery's Old Testament Heroine together with some of Rembrandt's most intriguing images of female characters from history and myth.

Among key works by Rembrandt presented in the exhibition are The Blinding of Samson (1636, Städel Museum, Frankfurt), Landscape with Stone Bridge (c. 1638, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes (1634, Madrid, Prado), and Portrait of Andries de Graeff (1639, Gemäldegalerie, Kassel). The exhibition brings new attention to the NGC's Old Testament Heroine, painted by Rembrandt in 1632/33, and the Gallery's outstanding collection of etchings by Rembrandt.

Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition will be presented at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in the fall of 2021.










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