Rembrandt: Portrait of a Man

The National Gallery Prague in collaboration with Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Köln are preparing a representative exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest painters of all time ⁠–⁠ Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606 Leiden ⁠–⁠ 1669 Amsterdam).

The exhibition centres on the portrait of A Scholar in His Study from the National Gallery Prague, created in 1634, a period that saw Rembrandt successful in both his professional and private life. This portrait does not simply render the physical likeness of an anonymous man; in it, Rembrandt expresses the dramatic spiritual life of the elder with bravura and tells a complex story through his facial expression, thereby elevating the work into a masterpiece of historical painting.

Featuring Rembrandt’s art and the art of his contemporaries and followers (including Jan Lievens, Gerrit Dou, Ferdinand Bol, Govaert Flinck, and Christopher Paudiss), the exhibition will probe the inner life captured in the face of the scholar in the portrait, bet it an anonymous sitter or Rembrandt’s personal projection. An understanding of Rembrandt’s art is never complete without a familiarity with his prints and drawings, as printmaking especially saw Rembrandt develop an intensity and originality on par with his paintings ⁠–⁠ this is why Rembrandt’s artworks on paper are given equal attention as his work in oil. The exhibition’s epilogue will present a modern understanding of Rembrandt’s art in the work of notable contemporary artists. Their original interpretations of the Prague Scholar in His Study demonstrate that Rembrandt’s masterpiece remains a source of inspiration even more than three hundred and fifty years after the artist’s death.

The exhibition will feature a number of first-rate artworks on loan from prominent regional and international museums and galleries, such as The Moravian Gallery in Brno, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Olomouc, The Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, The National Gallery London, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Viennese Albertina, as well as private collectors.

25/9 2020—21/3 2021    Kinsky Palace

Photo:Petr Brodecký