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    Monday, January 7th, 2019
    The 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth falls this year and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will mark it with a series of exhibitions and special events. Celebrations kick off on February 15 when the museum will present for the first time an exhibition of all 22 paintings, 60 drawings and more than 300 of the finest examples of Rembrandt’s prints in its collection. In July the public are invited to watch as the restoration of The Night Watch gets underway in a clear glass chamber designed by French architect Michel Wilmotte. A Rembrandt- Velazquez exhibition later in the year will showcase paintings by the two great masters of the 17th century.
    Rembrandt’s art embraces a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies. His self portraits enable us to come to know him at all stages of his life. He made nearly 100 self portraits including over 40 paintings.  Here are two examples:

    Rembrandt Self Portrait c1628.

    Rembrandt Self Portrait wearing a soft hat (1632-36).


    Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

    Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch is to be restored in public at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam beginning in July 2019.  The 1642 work will be restored in a painstaking process likely to take years, and all on public display.  The varnish on the painting has darkened over the years, dimming the original colours.  Here is a video about the the project from the Rijksmuseum.


    Saturday, July 15th, 2017

    The Rijksmuseum is celebrating Rembrandt’s anniversary today with the online publication Drawings by Rembrandt.  Born on July 15, 1606 he is regarded as one of the greatest artists in the history of art. The Rijksmuseum has the most important collection paintings, drawings and prints by Rembrandt in the world.

    All drawings by Rembrandt from the Rijksmuseum collection in Amsterdam will now be available to everyone in high resolution.  This is accompanied with the most up to date knowledge by Rembrandt specialist Peter Schatborn and Head of the Rijksmuseum Printroom Jane Turner. From now on, researchers, students and Rembrandt-lovers will gain new insights, knowledge and inspiration by the 64 landscapes, biblical scenes, portraits and everyday scenes of Rembrandt.

    Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn – Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene as a Gardener c1645 (detail)

    Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn – Saskia sitting by a window c1638 (detail)


    Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam) - Smell

    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam) – Smell

    Major unveilings at TEFAF Maastricht, which opens on March 11 include a newly discovered very early work by Rembrandt.  Talabardon & Gautier will present the work which was purchased at auction in 2015 catalogued as Continental School, 19th century.  Meticulous research and cleaning by the gallery revealed it to be The Unconscious Patient (Smell), c.1624-25.  The oil on panel was executed when Rembrandt was only 18 or 19 years old. In addition an example of what is believed to be one of Rembrandt’s earliest signatures was discovered during cleaning.

    TEFAF provides an unparalleled platform for dealers to unveil discoveries and re-attributions to a discerning audience of international collectors.

    The 2016 TEFAF Art Market Report issued today shows that global sales fell 7% during 2015 from $68.2bn to $63.8bn.  The volume of sales declined by 2% to 38.1 million. The picture that emerges in 2015 is of a highly polarized market, whereby most of the value within the market is shared between two sectors – Post War and Contemporary and Modern art – and is concentrated in sales at the very highest price levels.

    Although the global sales figure fell in 2015, sales in the US rose by 4% to their highest ever total of $27.3bn confirming its position as the global market leader, with a 43% share of total sales values. The UK, in second place, had a 21% share and China accounted for 19% by value.

    (See post on for March 3, 2016)


    Thursday, February 25th, 2016

    Collecting Collectors is the title of the loan exhibition at TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) which runs from March 11-20 at Maastricht in The Netherlands.  It will feature a small but choice selection of master drawings and prints from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

    Works by Fra Bartolommeo (1473-1517), numbering 400 sheets with 500 drawings assembled in two luxury albums by Florentine collector Niccolò Gabburri in 1729, are a particular highlight of the collection. One of the albums will be included in the selection at TEFAF Maastricht 2016, as a prelude to the forthcoming large Fra Bartolommeo exhibition in Rotterdam in the autumn of 2016.

    The museum collection of around 17,000 drawings and 65,000 prints provides an overview of western art history from the Middle Ages.  There are works by old masters like Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden and Rembrandt van Rijn and modern and contemporary artists like Paul Cézanne, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Yayoi Kusama. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is named after two collectors who both were essential in the establishment of the museum’s international reputation – Frans Boijmans (1767-1847) and D.G. van Beuningen (1877-1955). Boijmans’ bequest founded the museum in 1849 and in 1940 Van Beuningen acquired and then donated the majority of the Franz Koenigs collection of master drawings.

    Fra Bartelommeo - Young man leaning on pedestal.

    Fra Bartelommeo – Young man leaning on pedestal.

    Rembrandt van Rijn - Seated woman with open book on her lap.

    Rembrandt van Rijn – Seated woman with open book on her lap.


    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
    rem husbandrem wifeThe first ever joint acquisition of two Rembrandt masterpieces by the French and Dutch states was facilitated through Christie’s private sale channel.  The acquisition cost the Louvre 80 million euro and is the largest ever made by a French museum.  They were acquired from the French branch of the Rothschild family. The portraits of Maerten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit were executed a year after the couple’s wedding in 1634.   They will always be shown together, alternately at the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum, but will be owned separately.  They will be exhibited publicly for the first time at the Louvre in a few weeks time.  They will then be shipped to Holland for restoration.


    Sunday, January 17th, 2016
    Rembrandt - Self Portrait at the age of 63

    Rembrandt – Self Portrait at the age of 63

    A magnificent late Rembrandt self portrait is on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast until March 13 as part of the Masterpiece Tour organized by the National Gallery in London.  Rembrandt (1606–1669)  produced some 80 self-portraits – paintings, drawings and prints- over the course of his 40-year career. No artist before Rembrandt, and only a very few since, have made self-portraiture such a significant part of their life’s work. Self Portrait at the Age of 63, painted in the final year of the artist’s life, is among the very last works he finished. It is a work of sheer virtuosity: proof, if ever it were needed, that with maturity his talent had only become all the more profound.

    At the Ulster Museum the late Rembrandt is hung with a small group of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings from the Museum collection. These paintings are by artists whose work Rembrandt would have known, including Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan Symonsz Pynas, Jan van der Heyden and Nicolaes Maes.  When viewed together there is sense of entering Rembrandt’s world.

    The Masterpiece Tour reflects the National Gallery’s commitment to promoting the understanding, study and appreciation of its collection to as wide an audience as possible. A  Gallery painting  toured each year between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 Rembrandt’s Self Portrait at the Age of 63 opens at the Ulster Museum then goes to Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal; and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.