The Slovenia Times

Rembrandt's prints on show at National Gallery


Original prints by the celebrated Dutch painter Rembrandt have been put on display at the National Gallery in Ljubljana, alongside works by artists he inspired. Mounted in cooperation with the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam, the exhibition runs until 30 July.

The exhibition features 43 of the Great Master's original prints and two of his etching plates, and 14 prints by the contemporaries and later artists who were inspired by him, such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Pablo Picasso. All of these works come from Rembrandt House Museum's collection.

To show how Rembrandt's printmaking influenced later generations of artists, including in Slovenia, the exhibition also includes ten works from the National Gallery's collection, such as those by Martin Johann Schmidt, Ivana Kobilca and Zoran Mušič.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) ranks as one of the greatest artists of all time. Apart from atmospheric paintings he is best known for today, he also produced more than 300 etchings. These are quite versatile, from small- to large-sized, from summary sketches to artfully detailed images.

In the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, the curator Jochem van Eijsden notes that Rembrandt was a great innovator, always exploring new ways and solutions to tell stories. During his life and in later decades, Rembrandt was mostly known for his pioneering prints.

On display are several of Rembrandt's most famous prints, including The Shell, which is his only still-life etching, five self-portraits, the influential print The Three Crosses and two phases of the motif Christ Presented to the People.

Rembrandt is known for the changes he made on the printing matrix during printing cycles of the same motif. These sheets allow the viewer to track the alterations in details, figures and the atmosphere.

His works are arranged according to aspects that most interested him, such as After Life, Light and Dark and Shaping a Character. The visitor follows the artist's approach to storytelling, and how he first made and then merged character studies, genre scenes and backgrounds to create enthralling tales.

A selection of the Great Master's prints from the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam was on display at Ljubljana's Cankarjev Dom in 2000, but the National Gallery believes almost a quarter of a century on, time has come for new generations to get to know the great artist.


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