The Frick Collection
Rembrandt and His School: Masterworks from the Frick and  Lugt Collections February 15, 2011, through May 15, 2011
Special Exhibition

Rembrandt and His School: Masterworks from the Frick and
Lugt Collections

February 15, 2011, through May 15, 2011

Partial Show Extension: Works on loan from the Lugt Collection will remain on view in the Lower-Level Exhibition Galleries through May 22. See a Virtual Tour of the paintings in the Oval Room.

Prints and Drawings from the Fondation Custodia | Related Works

A prolific draftsman, Rembrandt executed drawings to record preliminary ideas, experiment with compositional elements, document completed works in other media, and produce finished pictures in their own right. His sketches also served as models for students and later followers, who in turn made drawing an integral part of their own artistic practice. Superb illustrated examples by Rembrandt and other artists in his circle — comprising his mentors, contemporary artists, pupils, and followers — are installed in these two galleries. Joining the Dutch master's works are drawings by, among others, Pieter Lastman, Jan Lievens, Carel Fabritius, Govert Flinck, Ferdinand Bol, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Nicolaes Maes, Philips Koninck, and Lambert Doomer.

  Frederik (Frits) Johannes Lugt and his wife, Jocoba Klever

Frederik (Frits) Johannes Lugt and his wife, Jocoba Klever

These magnificent drawings and prints are on loan from the Fondation Custodia, Paris, established in 1947 by the Dutch art historian Frederik (Frits) Johannes Lugt (1884–1970) — seen at left in a photograph with his wife, Jacoba Klever — to oversee his collection of drawings, prints, paintings, and portrait miniatures. Today the Fondation's holdings consist of 30,000 prints and 7,000 Old Master drawings by Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, Danish, German, and English artists. Not surprisingly, seventeenth-century Dutch drawings form the majority of the collection, which is considered one of the most important in existence, including twenty-one attributed to Rembrandt. Lugt also acquired prints by the master, eventually compiling a nearly complete set.

Lugt's collection of nineteen drawings by Rembrandt range from playful sketches to finished pictures. Accompanying these drawings is a series of self-portrait prints along with three additional prints — possibly using Rembrandt's family members as models. Lugt also collected thirty-five drawings attributed to artists in Rembrandt's circle and later followers.

Several of the drawings bear a remarkable resemblance to Rembrandt's own in accordance with traditional workshop practices encouraging students to imitate a master's technique. Other sheets look quite different from those by Rembrandt, demonstrating the independent styles developed by these artists as they matured or intentionally altered their approach to meet the changing dictates of the contemporary art market. An additional loan of Rembrandt's Cottage near an Entrance to a Wood from the Robert Lehmann Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art enables visitors to compare this sheet with an identical version of the subject by Lambert Doomer (1624–1700) in the Lugt Collection.

Although a recognized expert of Dutch and Flemish works on paper who made extraordinary contributions to this field and catalogued entire collections, Lugt chose not to catalogue his own works, preferring to leave this task to others. Peter Schatborn, former head of the Rijksprentenkabinet at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, gallantly accepted this undertaking, and the current installation celebrates his recent publication that meticulously documents the drawings by Rembrandt and his circle in the Frits Lugt/Fondation Custodia's collection. All works are from the Frits Lugt Collection unless otherwise specified.