THE HAGUE – A museum in The Hague launched a new exhibition on Thursday dedicated to Rembrandt van Rijn as part of a year of celebratory events marking the 350th death anniversary of the famous Dutch painter.
“Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis” is one of the first exhibitions of 2019 organized to commemorate the artist’s life and work, and would be on show at the Hague’s Mauritshuis museum until Sept.
“He’s still very popular,” the director of the Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam, Lidewij de Koekkoek, told EFE of the painter. “Every generation finds something of their own in Rembrandt so we’re actually celebrating his life and his work.”
The Mauritshuis in the Hague, which houses one of the world’s most important collections by the artist, is showing all of the 18 paintings in its collection that have been attributed to Rembrandt, the museum said on its site.
Among the paintings included in the exhibit are the 1632 oil painting “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp,” Rembrandt’s 1669 self-portrait, as well as other paintings that “are no longer considered to be by Rembrandt and are rarely – if ever – on display,” said the Mauritshuis.
“All of these works together show the shifting perception of Rembrandt throughout the centuries,” according to the museum.
Of the 18 paintings on display, 11 are definitely the fruit of Rembrandt’s labor, but there are five whose authorship was uncertain and another two that since Wednesday were being looked into in order to be able to say whether they really were done by the Dutchman.
Since his death some 350 years ago, Rembrandt’s style fell out of fashion until the 18th century when his work became popular with royal collectors, like Prince William III of England.
In the 20th century, the Dutch looked at Rembrandt’s art, while nowadays “we’re very interested in who was Rembrandt, how did he make his work,” De Koekkoek told EFE.
The director of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Taco Dibbits, told EFE the commemorative year was a celebration of how Rembrandt saw people because he was the “first artist who paints us as we are, in all our beauty, in all our ugliness, in all our laughter, in our sadness.”
According to Dibbits, Rembrandt was “a rebel” who did not follow the rules of art, because in the 17th century it had been all about painting beauty and he was not interested in this.
“Rembrandt is not interested in beauty, he paints the elderly, he paints the ugly, he paints because it’s an obsession to him.”