A collection of Rembrandt van Rijn prints, considered one of the best collections of the early nineteenth century, was part of the 1816 founding bequest at The Fitzwilliam Museum. Amongst them was Rembrandt’s The three crosses, which remains a highlight of the collection. Since then, the museum has amassed a significant holding of Dutch and Flemish paintings, prints and drawings. Still life is a particular strength for the collection, with distinguished examples by Rachel Ruysch, Jan van Os, and Balthasar van der Ast. Exceptional paintings include Peter Paul Rubens’s The Death of Hippolytus, a portrait by Frans Hals, and Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s The Village Festival in Honour of St Hubert and St Anthony. Rare etchings by Anthony Van Dyck and Rembrandt’s prints dedicated to nudes and Christ’s Passions are all explored in substantial online exhibitions. Landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael and Meindert Hobbema, as well as genre paintings by Jan Steen and David Teniers the Younger, amongst others, also feature.
Rebecca Birrell, Acting Curator (June 2021)
Catalogue of old master drawings: Dutch and Flemish schools