Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
September 23, 2017 - December 17, 2017

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

February 6–May 13, 2018

Rembrandt’s etchings, long treasured for their innovation and perceptive portrayal of the human psyche, continue to inspire a wide range of audiences and admirers, including scientists and engineers. Encouraging close looking at these masterworks in the context of collection building and new scientific approaches, this multifaceted exhibition will highlight Rembrandt’s scope and subtlety as an etcher.

Rembrandt Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill Transmitted light photograph enlarged detail showing Basilisk watermark Yale University Art Gallery

Rembrandt Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill Transmitted light photograph enlarged detail showing Basilisk.

Rembrandt Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill 1639

Rembrandt St. Francis Beneath a Tree Praying (1657). R.T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1952.31

More than sixty impressions from across Rembrandt’s oeuvre will show the artist’s process, including how he made changes to his plates, and detail his use of a variety of printing supports. Works from the collections of Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Syracuse, and Yale Universities, Oberlin and Vassar Colleges, the University of Kansas, the Morgan Library & Museum, and private collections will feature subject matter ranging from portraits and self-portraits to genre scenes, religious narratives, landscapes, study plates, and academic nude studies.

Rembrandt Hundred Guilder Print ca. 1648 

The accompanying catalogue incorporates new research and initiatives that examine the status of the printmaker, including an overview of Rembrandt print collecting by American academic collections, an account of Oberlin’s secret guardianship of the Morgan’s Rembrandt prints during World War II, and an introduction to Cornell’s Watermark Identification in Rembrandt’s Etchings (WIRE) project, a collaboration among museums, faculty, and students dedicated to digitally facilitating access to Rembrandt watermark scholarship.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Woman Sitting Half-Dressed Beside a Stove, 1658
Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca

Lines of Inquiry has been organized in collaboration with  the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, where it will be on view February 6–May 13, 2018.

Rembrandt Jan Six 1647 Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Vassar College

An exhibition catalogue is forthcoming.