CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Rembrandt: True to Life

2 June - 10 September 2023

Rembrandt: True to Life

Exhibition: 2 June - 10 September 2023

Rembrandt: True to life follows the work of the seventeenth-century Dutch master from his early years in Leiden in the 1620s through to his final years in Amsterdam in the 1660s. The exhibition presents more than 100 etchings, alongside paintings and drawings from the NGV Collection, and important loans from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; The Louvre Museum, Paris; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; and Teylers Museum, Haarlem. Across key themes, including self-portraits and portraits, religious motifs, landscapes, nudes and genre scenes, the exhibition gives insight into the scope of Rembrandtā€™s creative innovation.

Rembrandt was the first artist to fully explore the possibilities of etching, and his ambitious prints rival paintings in their complexity and emotional impact. The exhibition brings his prints into dialogue with a selection of paintings to highlight the original ways in which Rembrandt approached his subject matter, his brilliant re-imagining of biblical subjects, and the development of psychological complexity in narrative scenes and portraits. Throughout his life, Rembrandt often returned to favourite subjects with new perspective, constantly exploring the possibilities of storytelling through images.

Rembrandt: True to lifeĀ also includes a recreation of Rembrandtā€™s own ā€˜Cabinet of curiositiesā€™. Filled with prints and drawings, as well as artefacts and rare natural objects from Europe and Asia, this collection was a status symbol and an important source of inspiration for the artist.

The NGV holds the most important Rembrandt collection in the Southern Hemisphere, and this exhibition is a unique opportunity for audiences to explore the great range of the artistā€™s prints alongside some of his key paintings, in the most comprehensive exhibition of Rembrandtā€™s work to be held in Australia in twenty-five years.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Self-portrait leaning on a stone sill, 1639
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne