LOUVRE ABU DHABI PRESENTS REMBRANDT, VERMEER AND THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE: MASTERPIECES FROM THE LEIDEN COLLECTION AND THE MUSÉE DU LOUVRE, IN THE LARGEST EXHIBITION OF DUTCH MASTERS FROM THE 17TH CENTURY HELD IN THE GULF REGION TO DATE.
This extraordinary assemblage of 95 paintings, drawings, and objects – including more than 20 works from across Rembrandt van Rijn’s career and by his workshop – surveys Rembrandt’s artistic journey in 17th-century Leiden and Amsterdam, as well as his relationships with rivals and peers including Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Carel Fabritius, Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. Among the many highlights in the exhibition are two works by Vermeer—The Lacemaker (Musée du Louvre) and Young Woman Seated at a Virginal (The Leiden Collection)— that were painted on canvas cut from the same bolt. In the exhibition, these have been hung side by side for what is thought to be the first time in 300 years. Also of special note are: the first display at Louvre Abu Dhabi of the museum’s most recent acquisition, Rembrandt’s oil sketch Head of a Young Man, with Clasped Hands: Study of the Figure of Christ, ca. 1648-56; and the first-ever combined display of Rembrandt’s Bust of a Bearded Old Man (The Leiden Collection) with the special carrying case commissioned for it by a previous owner of the painting, Andrew W. Mellon, the eminent early 20th-century financier and philanthropist. Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: Both the exhibition and the accompanying cultural programme highlight Louvre Abu Dhabi’s commitment to bringing key moments in art and history to a new global audience, and further cement the museum’s mission to become a centre for cultural exchange.
“I would like to express our immense gratitude to our partners, the Musée du Louvre and The Leiden Collection, for their constant support and cooperation around this exhibition,” he added. The Dutch Golden Age was a brief period during the 17th century when the Dutch Republic, newly independent from the Spanish Crown, established itself as a world leader in trade, science, and the arts, and was regarded as the most prosperous state in Europe. Worldwide trade, driven by the Dutch East India Company and Dutch West India Company, gave the Netherlands (the coastal region of northwest Europe) an important advantage throughout Europe and the world. Rembrandt and Vermeer established themselves at the forefront of a new artistic movement characterised by a deep interest in humanity and daily life. In this context, the exhibition explores the evolution of Rembrandt’s career starting in his native Leiden where he created his early famed series of allegorical paintings of the Senses.
These works demonstrate the artist’s youthful ingenuity and experimentation with expression, composition and colour. Paintings created later in Amsterdam are also on display, including sensitively rendered portraits, the renowned Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes, and Minerva in Her Study, his monumental history painting of the goddess (both from The Leiden Collection). These works are displayed alongside paintings by other masters from Rembrandt’s artistic circle, illustrating the influence that this remarkable group of artists had on each other’s work.
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism— Abu Dhabi, said: “The very inception and early success of Louvre Abu Dhabi was founded on our close friendship with France and our multilayered partnerships with global museums and art institutions. In 2019, the UAE is celebrating the Year of Tolerance, which is testament to our long-standing tradition of nurturing a culture of openness and exchange,” he continued. “The exhibition Rembrandt, Vermeer and the Dutch Golden Age illustrates not only the importance of cross-border cultural collaborations, but also how artistic creativity has always been at the heart of great historic moments.”
The exhibition is drawn primarily from The Leiden Collection, one of the largest and most significant private collections of artworks from the Dutch Golden Age, interspersed with masterpieces from the Musée du Louvre’s exceptional Dutch collection. Loans from the Rijksmuseum and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France complete the presentation. The exhibition also features a very rare and beautifully crafted 17th-century ship model from the Rijksmuseum. It is the first time such an object has travelled to the UAE.
Highlights from The Leiden Collection:
– 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)
– Rembrandt’s Young Lion Resting (ca. 1638-42)
Highlights from the Musée du Louvre’s Collections:
– 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), a gift from the family of Thomas S. Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan in 2017; and an engraved nautilus shell (ca. 1660-80).
GO: THE EXHIBITION WILL BE ON VIEW AT LOUVRE ABU DHABI UNTIL MAY 18. ENTRANCE TO THE EXHIBITION IS FREE WITH GENERAL MUSEUM ADMISSION TICKETS. ADMISSION TO THE MUSEUM IS FREE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 13. VISIT WWW.LOUVREABUDHABI. AE AND FOLLOW LOUVRE ABU DHABI ON SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK (LOUVRE ABU DHABI), TWITTER (@LOUVREABUDHABI) AND INSTAGRAM (@LOUVREABUDHABI) FOR MORE INFORMATION