ABU DHABI 20 January 2019: Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first 2019 international exhibition, Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre, will bring together paintings and drawings by Dutch masters Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and their contemporaries.
Opening on 14 February 2019, the exhibition will survey Rembrandt’s artistic journey in Leiden and Amsterdam and his relationships with rivals and peers, including Johannes Vermeer, Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Carel Fabritius, Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris and Frans Hals.
During the Golden Age, the Dutch Republic established itself as a world leader in trade, science, and the arts. Set against this backdrop of cultural exchange, exploration and discovery, the show will explore the artistic traditions that flourished in Leiden and the wider Netherlands in this period, including the development of a new school of artists, called the fijnschilders (fine painters), best known for their exquisitely rendered scenes of daily life.
The exhibition will feature 22 paintings and drawings from across Rembrandt’s career and his workshop – from his early famed series of allegorical paintings of the senses, which demonstrate the artist’s youthful ingenuity and experimentation with expressions, composition and colour during his Leiden days, to later works created in Amsterdam, including sensitively-rendered portraits, a renowned self-portrait, Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes and Minerva in Her Study (both from The Leiden Collection), his monumental history painting of the goddess Minerva.
These works are displayed alongside paintings by other masters from Rembrandt’s artistic circle, demonstrating the influence that this remarkable group of artists had on each other’s work.
On this extraordinary occasion, Johannes Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal (The Leiden Collection) and The Lacemaker (Musée du Louvre), two paintings on canvas cut from the same bolt, will hang beside one another for the first time in 300 years at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
95 artworks, including paintings, drawings and objects, primarily drawn from The Leiden Collection, one of the largest and most significant private collections of artworks from the Dutch Golden Age, highlighted with the Musée du Louvre exceptional collections. Loans from the Rijksmuseum and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France will complete the presentation. On view until 18 May 2019, the exhibition is curated by Blaise Ducos, Chief Curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musée du Louvre, and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Curator of The Leiden Collection and a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art.
Highlights from the Musée du Louvre’s collection include: Johannes Vermeer’s The Lacemaker (1669-70); Gerrit Dou’s Self-Portrait with Palette in a Niche (ca. 1660-65); Ferdinand Bol’s Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well (ca. 1645-46), gifted from The Leiden Collection in 2017; and an engraved nautilus shell (ca. 1660-80). Notable works of art from The Leiden Collection include: Johannes Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal (ca. 1670-72); Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes (1634); Gerrit Dou’s Scholar Interrupted at His Writing (ca. 1635); Jan Lievens’ Boy in a Cape and Turban (Portrait of Prince Rupert of the Palatinate) (ca. 1631); and Rembrandt van Rijn’s Young Lion Resting (ca. 1638-42). The exhibition also includes a very rare and beautifully-crafted 17th century ship model from the Rijksmuseum. It is the first time such an object will travel to the UAE.
The exhibition will unfold throughout six sections:
- At the Heart of the Dutch Golden Age
- Extraordinary Beginnings: Rembrandt van Rijn in Leiden
- The Center of the Golden Age: Rembrandt van Rijn in Amsterdam (this section includes a special cabinet of prints and drawings)
- Fine Painting in Leiden: Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris, and their Contemporaries
- Picturing Everyday life in the Dutch Republic
- Historical Lessons and Tales of Morality
Alongside the exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi will announce a rich cultural programme featuring film screenings curated by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina, a pop-up costumed performance in the museum galleries as well as talks and workshops, including a lecture given on opening day by The Leiden Collection and Musée du Louvre curators.
The exhibition runs from 14 February to 18 May 2019.
Entrance to the exhibition is free with the museum ticket. Children under 13 enter the museum free. Visitors can tour the exhibition through a multimedia guide that is available in Arabic, English, and French.