CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Rembrandt 400: etchings and drawings

Exhibition: 29 June - 29 October 2006

Rembrandt, Dutch farmhouse in light and shadow. Budapest, Szepmuveszeti Muzeum

Rembrandt, Dutch farmhouse in light and shadow
Budapest, Szepmüvészeti Múzeum


Teréz Gerszi

From the museum website

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn was born 400 years ago, in 1606 inLeiden, and on this occasion, the entire world remembers him with exhibitions. With a comprehensive presentation of his graphic oeuvre, the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest joins this grand-scale memorial series. Within the framework of our show, some 170 etchings and 10 drawings of the Dutch master are on display.

Among his Dutch contemporaries, Rembrandt was the only one who, as opposed to his form of specialisation, strove throughout the course of his life for the possibilities for exhibition. And so the show comprises his drawings and graphic works both representing the portrait, landscape and genre painting, in the same measure as those portraying themes from the Old and New Testaments. Fourteen drawings and a few paintings were displayed in our last Rembrandt exhibition, in 1965; however, research of the past few decades has significantly diminished the oeuvre of Rembrandt. If the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest cannot include the paintings of the Dutch master among them, it can nevertheless take pride in its numerous drawings of exceptional beauty and its almost complete collection of his reproducible graphic works. Alongside Rembrandt’s six drawings in the Budapest collection, among them: Saskia at the Window, Woman with Crying Child and Dog, House in Sunlight and Houses, thanks to the kind cooperation of the Albertina in Vienna, a further four drawings: Destitute Family with Dog, An Elephant, Landscape at the Ij River and The Prophet Jonah at the Walls of Niniveh will also be on view. Additionally, we can become acquainted with Rembrandt’s unparalleled graphic oeuvre by way of nearly two hundred etchings.

The exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest aspires to present the moving humanity of Rembrandt’s art that is timely even today, thanks to which, albeit over the course of the centuries, the image rendered of his art has always been modified a bit, at the same time, has remained unchanged: in the wonder of his creations. His art is not merely the culmination of the evolution that commenced with the painting of Jan van Eyck in the 15th century, but by the means of the deep humanism and rich range of expression radiating from his works, an exceptional asset of universal human culture.