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Rembrandt: True to Life

  • Art, Drawings
  1. picture of a self-portrait by rembrandt
  2. picture of a rembrandt ethcing

Time Out says

Trace the artistic journey of the seventeenth-century Dutch master with more than 100 etchings, paintings, drawings at this NGV exhibition

Spanning Rembrandt’s four-decade-long career, Rembrandt: True to Life is the most comprehensive exhibition of the Dutch artist’s work held in Australia in more than 25 years.

This NGV exhibition will emphasise the prolific artist’s innovations in printmaking, showcasing more than 100 etchings drawn from the NGV Collection with important loans of paintings from public collections worldwide, like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre Museum in Paris. 

Beginning in Leidein in the 1620s, Rembrandt: True to Life traces the evolution of Rembrandt’s work from the beginning to his final years in Amsterdam in the 1660s. This breadth of work will allow audiences to appreciate the inventive ways in which Rembrandt tackled his work, from his re-imagining of biblical subjects to his profoundly expressive style and the development of psychological complexity in narrative scenes and portraits.

The exhibition will be displayed in thematic groups of portraits, religious motifs, landscapes, nudes, and scenes of everyday life. But at the heart of Rembrandt: True to Life is the artist’s printmaking skills as the first artist to comprehensively explore the medium's possibilities.

A highlight of the exhibition includes Self-Portrait (1659), where Rembrandt depicts himself with unrelenting honesty post-bankruptcy. Another must-see is his best-known and most ambitious etching, The Hundred Guilder Print (1648), as well as the etching Diana at the Bath (1631), where he challenges the conventional representation of a mythological goddess with am uncompromising realism. 

Rembrandt: True to Life will also feature a small recreation of the artist’s Wunderkammer – or cabinet of curiosities – inspired by his collection of prints and drawings, shells and rarities, musical instruments and weapons which he often referred to when seeking creative inspiration. 

Rembrandt: True to Life is on display from June 2 until September 10 at the NGV International. For tickets and information, visit the website here.

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Saffron Swire
Written by
Saffron Swire


Opening hours:
Daily 10am-5pm
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