When Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) was asked whose talents he would most like to possess, he declared: "Rembrandt's." And as the largest individual railway stockholder in the world, Frick is reported to have said that "railways are the Rembrandts of investment." Like Frick, the Dutch art historian Frederik Johannes Lugt (1884–1970) was a great admirer and collector of works by the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669); as a teenager he wrote a biography of the artist, illustrated with his own copies after Rembrandt's most famous works.
Rembrandt van Rijn
All of the Rembrandt prints in The Frick Collection were on display for the first time in many years. Freshly cleaned, restored, and mounted in new mats, the prints offer brilliant testimony to Rembrandt’s intensity and range of expression and to his virtuoso mastery of the etching technique. The eleven prints included religious subjects, portraits, and landscapes.
The Frick Collection held an exhibition of thirteen works by Rembrandt as part of a series of exhibitions of drawings and prints belonging to The Frick Collection. Three drawings acquired by Henry Clay Frick in 1913 were included, as well as ten prints purchased between 1915 and 1919.
The chronology of Rembrandt's print production has been linked to his usage of batches of paper, each identified by the presence of a specific watermark or its twin. Using a decision tree strategy and a chainspace match comparison, the Watermark Identification in Rembrandt's Etchings (WIRE) Project at Cornell has developed a computer-based interrogatory allowing identification of the watermark from a Rembrandt print among more than 500 possibilities in a matter of minutes. Observations having art-historical impact can be gleaned from watermark identification in Rembrandt's etchings.
Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow, introduces the exhibition Divine Encounter: Rembrandt's Abraham and the Angels, on view at The Frick Collection from May 30, 2017, through August 20, 2017.
The story of Abraham from the book of Genesis is replete with encounters with God and his angels. For Rembrandt, these episodes offered distinct opportunities for exploring the nature of divine presence and its perception. Presented by the curator of Divine Encounter: Rembrandt’s Abraham and the Angels, this lecture addresses the artist’s evolving interest in the Abraham narrative, its psychological content, and the experience of revelation.
This lecture is made possible by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Of the many self-portraits Rembrandt painted over a lifetime, this is perhaps the greatest, not only for its poignant revelations of the self, but for his sure handling of paint. The initial effect on viewers is daunting, as though they are confronting an ill-tempered monarch. The strange costume he wears is timeless. In place of a crown, he wears a large velvet artist's beret. He holds a painter's stick as though it were a scepter. Yet this feeling of uneasy confrontation diminishes as we study the face.