Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669) Four Studies of Male Head, c. 1636. Brown ink and brown wash on antique laid paper, 126 x 158 mm. Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts. Photo credit: Allan Macintyre © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669) Old Man with a Walking Stick and Head of a Young Woman, c. 1633–34 Brown ink on antique laid paper, 165 x 115 mm. Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts Photo credit: Katya Kallsen © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669) A Farm (on the Amsteldijk?). Brown ink, brown wash and white gouache on cream antique laid paper, 109 x 221 mm. Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gift of George Abrams in memory of Maida Abrams, 2004.181 Photo credit: Katya Kallsen © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Jan Lievens (Dutch, 1607–1674) Forest Interior with Draftsman, c. 1664 Brown ink on antique laid paper, 239 x 361 mm. Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts. Photo credit: Katya Kallsen © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Jacob Adriaensz. Backer (Dutch, 1608/9–1651) Seated Female Nude, 1648. Black and white chalk on blue paper, 286 x 225 mm. Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts. Photo credit: Allan Macintyre © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection

September 24, 2011 - January 8, 2012

The exhibition Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection  presents highlights from one of the finest private collections of Dutch drawings in the world, assembled over five decades by George and Maida Abrams.

 

• This show features ten works by Rembrandt as well as nearly fifty drawings by his pupils and followers, including sheets never before exhibited or published.
 

• This will be the first time that any paintings or drawings by Rembrandt have ever been exhibited at the Bruce Museum.

• To supplement this extraordinary event, we have also arranged to borrow for a brief few weeks two splendid examples of Rembrandt’s paintings, the Portrait of a Bearded Man in Red Doublet of 1633 from a private collection and Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo of 1658 from Otto Naumann Ltd. The latter will remain on extended view through January 4, 2012. Click here to view these special images.

The Exhibition

The exhibition reveals the expressive mastery and dazzling freedom of Rembrandt’s pen drawings and investigate the character and use of individual drawings, from figure studies made from life, to finished drawings composed in the studio, to landscape studies executed en plein air on his walks outside Amsterdam.

The show and its catalogue also investigate the functions of drawings in Rembrandt’s studio and their relationship to his teaching practices. Some drawings by Rembrandt’s students and followers seem to have been assignments, for example, in how best and most accurately to convey the narrative drama of a historical subject. Others clearly were life studies designed to train the eye and hand, preparatory to more finished works, be it another drawing, print or a painting. Some were topographic studies or the records of travel or novelties to be consulted in the future. But all achieve the expressive power that we associate with Rembrandt’s mastery. The exhibition is also be supplemented with one or two paintings by Rembrandt from private collections.

In addition to Rembrandt’s works, the exhibition will include sheets by his pupils and associates, including:

• Jan Lievens,

• Govaert Flinck,

• Ferdinand Bol,

• Gerbrand van den Eeckhout,

• Samuel van Hoogstraten,

• Abraham Furnerius,

• Jacob Koninck,

• Nicolaes Maes,

• Constantijn van Renesse,

• Jacob Backer,

• Lambert Doomer,

• Philips Koninck,

• Willem Drost,

• Anthonie van Borssom,

• Pieter de With,

• Roelant Roghman,

• Johannes Leupinius,

• Arent de Gelder,

• Jan Lievens,

• Govert Flinck,

• Ferdinand Bol,

• Gerbrand van den Eeckhout,

• Samuel van Hoogstraten,

• Abraham Furnerius,

• Pieter de With,

• Roelant Roghman,

• Arent de Gelder,

• as well as an anonymous follower of the master.

Although not all of these artists are documented as Rembrandt’s students, the biographies of the individual artists will review the evidence for their traditional connection with the master. The catalogue of the exhibition and the show’s interpretive material will also address the difficult issues of connoisseurship in this field.

Collection of Maida and George Abrams

The exceptional breadth of the Abrams collection enables the exploration of the diversity and parameters of Rembrandt’s style, including not only compositional and figure studies but also landscapes, and chalk as well as ink drawings.

Sponsors

The exhibition Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams  Collection is underwritten by Viacom, J.P. Morgan, David T. Langrock Foundation, The Netherland-America Foundation, The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, The Seiden-Luke Fund for Exhibitions and Publications, Winged Keel Group, and a Committee of Honor co-chaired by Marei von Saher and Michel Witmer.

Click here for more exhibition images.

Click here for programs related to the exhibition.

Click here for photos from the opening night on Fairfield County Look.