Rembrandt in Print presents 50 of the finest works from the Ashmolean’s world-class collection of over 200 etchings and drypoints by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). Widely hailed as the greatest painter of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt was also one of the most innovative and experimental printmakers of the seventeenth century. Displayed together for the first time, these works demonstrate Rembrandt’s inventive techniques and unrivaled ability for storytelling.
Exhibition highlights include intense self-portraits with their penetrating gaze, including one of his earliest self-portraits dating from 1630. Rembrandt’s only still-life print The Shell (1650) and iconic prints such as The Three Trees (1643) and The Windmill (1641) are also highlights. Perhaps the most remarkable print on display is Christ Presented to the People (Ecce Homo) (1655), considered to be the pinnacle of Rembrandt’s printmaking; the Ashmolean’s print is one of only 8 first state impressions in existence in the world. Created solely in drypoint it is a true feat of printmaking, and was printed on rare Japanese paper which Rembrandt must have sourced via the Dutch East India Company who had exclusive access to Japan through the harbor in Nagasaki.
This exhibition has been organized by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, and has been curated by An Van Camp, Christopher Brown Assistant Keeper of Northern European Art at the Ashmolean Museum.