Remembering Rembrandt, 350 years on
A unique and preeminent artist, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) has been described as ‘one of the greatest storytellers in the history of art’. His work reflects the emerging concept of the individual and the sense of the autonomous, dynamic, ordinary self, in his numerous self-portraits, portraits of local dignitaries, and drawings and etchings of ordinary people. His empathy with his subjects, his ability to capture a sense of their inner thoughts, and his uncompromising honesty has meant that his work continues to inspire art lovers and artists alike.
In this lunchtime lecture, Dido Powell, an artist and teacher of art history, will explore the lasting significance of Rembrandt’s work, 350 years on from his death. What is distinctive about his art? Why does his honesty about the imperfections of human beings continue to appeal? She will focus on a selection of his paintings, sketches and prints to show how he captured the individuality of his subjects, and makes us empathise with their imperfections.
Situating Rembrandt in his historical context and among his contemporaries, Dido will also consider his engagement with artistic traditions, and his rejection of idealisation in favour of an honest humanistic grandeur, which set him apart from his contemporaries and sometimes disappointed his patrons.