Madrid museum celebrates Rembrandt’s portraiture

Rembrandt’s portraiture

Rembrandt. ‘Portrait of a Man, probably Thomas Brouart,’ 1632 (left) and ‘Johanna van Merwede van Clootwijk,’ 1632. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. H.O. Havemeyer Collection. Legado de Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929.

MADRID – The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting Rembrandt and Amsterdam portraiture 1590-1670, which brings together a selection of portraits produced during the city’s Golden Age, with Rembrandt and his work as the key focus. This exceptional group of paintings and prints includes some of the greatest examples of this genre, both by Rembrandt himself – 22 in total – and by other artists of the period with the aim of revealing the wide variety and remarkable quality of their work. The exhibition will open on Feb. 18 and run through May 24.

Rembrandt is undoubtedly the most important of the 17th-century Dutch painters. While most artists of that period specialized in a particular genre he was renowned in numerous fields and not just as a painter but also as a draughtsman and engraver.

Portraiture was one of those fields but despite the fact that he achieved the highest level in this genre, as he did in all the others, no exhibition has previously been exclusively devoted to this aspect of Rembrandt’s activities.

The works are loaned from museums and collections worldwide, with notable contributions from the Amsterdam Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the National Gallery in London.

Most of the paintings have never previously been seen in Spain and in some cases they have almost never been loaned before, including the portrait of a young man from the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas. Also notable is the group of prints loaned by the Biblioteca Nacional de España.

The exhibition is curated by Norbert E. Middelkoop and benefits from the collaboration of the Comunidad de Madrid and the support of JTI.