Rembrandt’s smallest painting back in the Netherlands for a while
The smallest painting that Rembrandt van Rijn ever made is back in the Netherlands. Work Bust of a bearded old man from 1633 was unpacked yesterday in the Hermitage in Amsterdam.
The masterpiece, together with 34 other works from Dutch soil, forms the exhibition Rembrandt and his contemporaries, history paintings from The Leiden Collection. The works are in the possession of New York collector Thomas S. Kaplan. Together with his wife Daphne Recanati Kaplan, he founded The Leiden Collection in 2003 – named after Rembrandt’s birthplace – which comprises some 250 paintings and drawings.
The 35 paintings are masterpieces in history painting, a genre that enjoyed great prestige in the sixteenth century. The art had to depict stories from, among other things, the Bible and Classical Antiquity. Rembrandt is said to have found history painting essentially for the development of a painter’s mastery.
Apart from Rembrandt (1606-1669), works by, among others, his teacher Pieter Lastman (1583-1633) and his pupils Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680) and Arent de Gelder (1645-1727) are included in the collection.
The exhibition can be seen from Saturday 4 February to Sunday 27 August in the Hermitage in Amsterdam.