CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Becoming Rembrandt! Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam, ca. 1630–1655

6 October - 30 January 2021

Becoming Rembrandt! Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam, ca. 1630–1655

Exhibition: 6 October - 30 January 2021

In a major exhibition, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Canada the Städel Museum will, for the first time, address Rembrandt’s rise to international fame during his formative years in Amsterdam. The presentation combines the Städel’s collection of works by Rembrandt, including The Blinding of Samson (1636), with outstanding loans from international collections, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, the National Gallery in London, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Rembrandt (1606-1669), The Blinding of Samson, 1636.Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main

Rembrandt (1606-1669), The Blinding of Samson, 1636.
Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main

In this exhibition, Rembrandt’s art enters into a dialogue with masterpieces by older and younger artists of his time, such as Nicolas Eliasz Pickenoy and Bartholomeus van der Helst, and with brilliant works by his own former students, such as Govaert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol. Focus will be placed on groups of closely related paintings that shed light on Rembrandt’s role and that of his contemporaries in this creative network. Rembrandt’s pictorial production, and his impact, were surprisingly broad, encompassing landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes as well as history paintings and portraits. The examination of his competitors influenced his artistic development as well as his entrepreneurial ambitions. In Amsterdam, an exceptional number of talented artists competed for the attention and patronage of the wealthy and art-loving middle classes. It was precisely this exciting and stimulating atmosphere that challenged the young artist from Leiden to become the world-famous master that he is to this day: Rembrandt.

The exhibition is organized by the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. The exhibition is curated by Jochen Sander (Vice Director and Head of the Collection of Dutch, Flemish and German Painting before 1800, Städel Museum) and Stephanie Dickey (Guest Curator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa)

Related CODART publications

Dr. Stephanie S. Dickey, “Rembrandt Comes to Turtle Island”, CODARTfeatures, September 2021.

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