The internationally revered Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) is today much better known for his oil paintings and drawings. However, in his own time Rembrandt was as famed for his etchings as for his paintings and in Britain, for example, he was far better known as a printmaker. Our exhibition seeks to re-focus attention on this important element of his career, in particular his use of this medium to explore innovative tonal gradations to produce evocative images of the Dutch landscape, biblical scenes full of drama and pathos, as well as sensitive portraits, including many introspective self portraits.
Clearly Rembrandt was fascinated by the process of printmaking, and the artistic possibilities it opened up for him. The exhibition demonstrates how Rembrandt’s handling of light and darkness, expressed purely through the medium of black lines and white space was unsurpassed. The exhibition also reveals how Rembrandt’s preoccupation with light and shade can be seen throughout his work, drawing on specially selected additional works which complement the prints.