Past Exhibitions


Rembrandt and the Aesthetics of Technique

Fri, 09/08/2006 - 20:00 -- wds
Rembrandt and the Aesthetics of Technique
September 9, 2006—December 10, 2006 Busch-Reisinger Museum

Rembrandt van Rijn, Old Man with a Walking Stick; Head of a Young Woman, c. 1633–34. Brown ink on cream antique laid paper. Loan from The Maida and George Abrams Collection.

This exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn's birth. With more than 30 artworks drawn from the collections of the Art Museum and Harvard University's Houghton Library and enhanced by temporary and long-term loans, it invites viewers to engage intensively with drawings, prints, and a painting by Rembrandt and with works by his pupils and contemporaries within a carefully argued theoretical framework. The arrangement of the works in small groups is designed to prompt comparisons of specific physical characteristics of the works and reflections on the artists' purposeful manipulation of their material constituents. In each case, these precise details are only accurately discernible in the original. An accompanying essay by exhibition co-organizer Ivan Gaskell entitled "Rembrandt, Ingenuity, and Skill" argues for the establishment of a new definition of genius that would promote attention to the skill manifested in the details of the works rather than distract from it. Organized by Ivan Gaskell, Margaret S. Winthrop Curator of Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and William W. Robinson, Maida and George Abrams Curator of Drawings, assisted by Willemijn Lindenhovius, Lynn and Philip A. Straus Curatorial Intern, Department of Drawings, and Edward Wouk, Mellon Foundation Intern in the Department of Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts. A brochure accompanies this exhibition.