In the time of corona, when we have to keep distance from each other, we depend even more on contact by eye. Rembrandt was good at looking, with a sympathetic eye – his imags of old people are intimate, vulnerable, and at the same time powerful. In the exhibition Life/Time Rembrandt’s etchings of old people will be shown alongside work by his pupil Abraham van Dijck and his great fan Aat Veldhoen. There are old people slumbering in their chairs. But we also see wise old men in their studies or a spry pancake baker. Life/Time is an ode to old age in its richness and many facets.
The high point of this collection exhibition is the newest acquisition of The Rembrandt House Museum: a small painting by Rembrandt pupil Abraham van Dijck. The museum purchased it last year at an auction. It represents an old man close to falling asleep. Old people often symbolized the transience of life, in seventeenth-century Dutch art. But his man is an artist, he has a palette and a brush in his hand. The message here could be: life passes, but the painting will remain. Art triumphs over death.