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Art and Competition in the Dutch Golden Age: Erasmus Lectures on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders—Part 3

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Dutch, The Blinding of Samson, 1636. Oil on canvas. Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Licensed by HIP/Art Resource, N.Y.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This event was recorded. Please view the lecture here.

In collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard, the Harvard Art Museums present Art and Competition in the Dutch Golden Age, a three-part lecture series delivered by Eric Jan Sluijter, professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam and the 2019 Erasmus Lecturer in Harvard’s Department of History of Art and Architecture.

About this program:
Rivals in Rendering Horror: Rembrandt, Rubens, and Tragedy

In several spectacular paintings of the 1630s, Rembrandt strove to surpass Peter Paul Rubens in the rendering of violence and horror. His efforts reached a peak with his monumental Blinding of Samson (1636). He painted this work in artistic rivalry with Rubens’s Prometheus Bound (1618), while also drawing upon works by Caravaggio and Jusepe de Ribera that were then in the possession of Amsterdam collectors. Eric Jan Sluijter’s lecture will examine the important role of artistic competition and will consider both Rembrandt’s and Rubens’s rivalry with the Senecan tragedies that were performed on the stages of Amsterdam and Antwerp, particularly in their depiction of terrifying occurrences, violent passions, and gruesome deeds.

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 3:30pm.

Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 3:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.

After the lecture, guests are invited to visit our 17th-century Dutch galleries until 6pm.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

The 2019 Erasmus Lectures are presented at the Harvard Art Museums in collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard. Please join us for Part 1 of the series on Friday, February 22, and Part 2 on Friday, March 1.

The Erasmus Lectureship on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders invites lecturers to spend a semester in any department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The lectureship was endowed in 1967 by donations from individuals and businesses in the Netherlands and from Dutch expatriates in the United States. In 1994, the endowment was enlarged by a donation from the Government of Flanders.