13 Mar 2008
The Ferens Art Gallery is delighted to announce the acquisition of its first Rembrandt, the acknowledged master of Dutch 17th century art.
The ‘Negress Lying Down’ is a print of 1658, so-called in the 18th century by the first cataloguer of Rembrandt’s work. It portrays the back of a nude lying in a darkened room rather than a black model as implied by the title.
The work is the third and final state of the image that Rembrandt produced and therefore the most fully worked version. Small scale and with a dense and richly worked surface, experts describe the print as a fine example. Significantly the image was never reprinted after the artist’s death so the etching is one of a handful known.
Councillor Calvin Neal, portfolio holder for Culture said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled that the Ferens Art Gallery has brought the first Rembrandt to Hull’.
The opportunity to acquire the print came from the government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme in which privately owned art works can be gifted to public institutions to off-set inheritance tax. This is the first time that the Gallery has benefited from the scheme.
Jayne Tyler, head of professional services added: ‘Hull Museums are delighted to benefit from this prestigious scheme. Acceptance in Lieu creates an ideal opportunity to widen public access to important works of art’.
Kirsten Simister, keeper of art explained: ‘The Ferens has an internationally renowned collection with a specific focus on Dutch and Flemish work in relation to European Old Masters. The print adds a really exciting and significant new dimension to our displays and we are delighted that we are able to offer the people of Hull and visitors a like the chance to view this master piece.
CODART notes that the Ferens Art Gallery hosted the traveling exhibition Rembrandt as printmaker from 8 April to 18 June 2006, curated by Martin Royalton Kisch of the British Museum, during the Rembrandt year.