Information from the museum, 22 December 2009
Jan Lievens was one of the most important Dutch artists of the 17th-century, tracing a striking career in his home country and abroad in London, Antwerp and Berlin. As a child prodigy in Leiden he quickly made a mark with his grandly conceived figures, virtuoso handling and shrewdly observed expressions, and he soon gained courtly commissions. He is also known for his early association with Rembrandt, whose genius unfortunately came to overshadow his own. Only now is his remarkable achievement returning to wider recognition. Already in the early 1970s, however, Alfred Bader began to acquire his paintings, and this exhibition presents those already donated by the Baders to the Art Centre, highlighted by their most recent gift, the penetrating Portrait of Jacob Junius. They are accompanied by several of Lievens’ etchings, also by the Art Centre’s collection, which demonstrate an equally bold vision and assured technique.