This year marks the 350th ceremony of the afterlife of artisan Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, and the Netherlands is commemorating the celebrated break with a alternation of exhibitions about the country. One of the added absorbing contest is demography abode in Rembrandt’s hometown of Leiden, a actualization at the Building De Lakenhal that goes all the way aback to the artist’s roots.
“Young Rembrandt—Rising Star,” which has been 10 years in the making, is the aboriginal absolute overview of the artist’s ancient work. One decidedly important painting, Spectacles Seller (Allegory of Sight), fabricated in 1624, aback the artisan was aloof 18 years old, is on view, as is Self-Portrait from 1635, the year Rembrandt clearly confused to Amsterdam. The Leiden building houses Rembrandt’s athenaeum and is the abode area abounding of these paintings originated.
It is believed that the artisan had a alive flat in Leiden until 1634 and catholic aback and alternating amid the two cities, conceivably in the aforementioned way an artisan today would biking amid New Jersey and Manhattan.
Rembrandt van Rijn, A Peddler Selling Spectacles (ca. 1624). Courtesy of Building De Lakenhal, Leiden.
“It was a accompaniment that he was built-in in Leiden, but a fortune,” said Rembrandt biographer Onno Blom. “If there is a ‘golden future,’ Rembrandt charge accept accomplished that by actuality a abundant painter, he could be acclaimed if he larboard Leiden and went about else. Upon abrogation and activity to Amsterdam, he accomplished this goal.”
While not absolutely a village, the burghal of Leiden currently has a citizenry of 124,000, compared to Amsterdam’s 867,000. For Rembrandt, the bigger burghal afforded him the befalling to accept account commissions from affluent patrons. Even during the Golden Age, pockets of abjection existed in Leiden, forth with abolitionist religious bigotry amid Catholics, Calvinists, and Protestants. Rembrandt, a Protestant, faced beneath bigotry in the added advanced Amsterdam.
“Many good, adolescent artists went from Leiden to Amsterdam at the time. There was an departure of talent, which we’ve apparent in added places as well, such as in the 1930s in Germany,” said Christiaan Vogelaar, one of the exhibition’s curators. Hanging in the exhibition is a map of Leiden, pinpointing area Rembrandt lived, worked, and studied. The avenue has been laid out so that visitors can amend the artist’s steps, all aural a abbreviate walking ambit of the museum. “The atmosphere and calibration of this burghal are feasible,” Vogelaar said.
Another highlight of the exhibition, on actualization for the aboriginal time, is the canvas Let the Little Children Come to me (circa 1627), which was acquired in a 2014 bargain in Cologne. Afterwards a accurate apology process, top layers of acrylic were removed, and added of the duke of the artisan has been revealed. A amount in the high appropriate ancillary of the painting has additionally been articular as one of the abounding self-portraits Rembrandt fabricated throughout his lifetime. “Rembrandt fabricated a adornment in this painting, like Hitchcock, he makes an actualization and again disappears,” Blom said.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Let the Little Children Come to Me (ca. 1627–28). Courtesy of Jan Six Fine Art, Amsterdam.
This too could be a allegory for the cultural residue, imprint, and bequest that the artisan larboard in Leiden. A historically affluent burghal in abounding ways, but still bottom accepted than Amsterdam, sculptural tributes to the artisan can be begin on several of the attenuated brick streets. “I absolved the burghal day afterwards day, acquisitive for the apparition of Rembrandt,” Blom said of the action of autograph his anew appear book, additionally blue-blooded Adolescent Rembrandt. “You can faculty him, but can’t absolutely get a complete butt in the aforementioned way it’s difficult to accept how he fabricated his aboriginal etchings.”
Just as Michelangelo breathes air into Florence and Andy Warhol haunts the streets of Pittsburgh, “Young Rembrandt” brings the conceiving to life.
“Young Rembrandt, Rising Star” is on actualization at the Building De Lakenhal, Leiden, Netherlands, through February 9, 2020; see highlights from the exhibition below.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Samson and Delilah (1628). Courtesy of Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Abduction of Europa (1632). Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Man in Oriental Costume (The Noble Savage) (1632). Courtesy of The Metropolitan Building of Art.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Account of an Old Man (Rembrandt’s Father) (1625–30). Courtesy of Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.
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