The first monographic exhibition dedicated to Rembrandt ever mounted in Romania features a fine selection of prints by the great Dutch master drawn primarily from the collections of two major Romanian personalities – architect Gheorghe Balş (1868-1934) and art historian George Oprescu (1881-1969) – donated to the Library of the Romanian Academy. Also shown are several paintings by some of Rembrandt’s pupils (Govert Flinck, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Bernardo Keil) or assistants, illustrative of the phenomenon largely known as the Rembrandt school. They are displayed alongside Haman before Esther, the famous masterpiece in the collection of the National Museum of Art of Romania, which has been attributed to Rembrandt following the extensive research undertaken by the Rembrandt Researsch Project experts. The X-radiograph of the canvas has revealed two chronologically different layers of the painting: the first version was painted by Rembrandt around 1635, while the second was completed by one of his pupils who is thought to have reworked the composition under his close supervision in the 1660s. This makes the painting a very good example of the complexity of Rembrandt’s legacy.
The catalogue accompanying the exhibition includes essays on the artistic traditions in Rembrandt’s work (by Gary Schwartz), on Rembrandt’s workshop (by Mariana Dragu), on Rembrandt’s etchings (by Dana Crişan) and the two Romanian collectors of his prints (by Cătălina Macovei), as well as the Romanian version of the expertise of the canvas Haman before Esther finalized in 1991 by the Rembrandt Research Project team (Anne van Grevenstein, Karin Groen and Ernst van de Wetering).
Lecture on Rembrandt by Gary Schwartz, 16 June 2006