Becoming Rembrandt!
10/6/2021–1/30/2022

Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam, ca. 1630–1655

About the Exhibition

In a major exhibition, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Canada the Städel Museum will, for the first time, address Rembrandt’s rise to international fame during his formative years in Amsterdam. The presentation combines the Städel’s collection of works by Rembrandt, including The Blinding of Samson (1636), with outstanding loans from international collections, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, the National Gallery in London, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In this exhibition, Rembrandt’s art enters into a dialogue with masterpieces by older and younger artists of his time, such as Nicolas Eliasz Pickenoy and Bartholomeus van der Helst, and with brilliant works by his own former students, such as Govaert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol. Focus will be placed on groups of closely related paintings that shed light on Rembrandt’s role and that of his contemporaries in this creative network. Rembrandt's pictorial production, and his impact, were surprisingly broad, encompassing landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes as well as history paintings and portraits. The examination of his competitors influenced his artistic development as well as his entrepreneurial ambitions. In Amsterdam, an exceptional number of talented artists competed for the attention and patronage of the wealthy and art-loving middle classes. It was precisely this exciting and stimulating atmosphere that challenged the young artist from Leiden to become the world-famous master that he is to this day: Rembrandt.

The exhibition is organised by the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Picture: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie – Christoph Schmidt

Curators: Jochen Sander (Vice Director and Head of the Collection of Dutch, Flemish and German Painting before 1800, Städel Museum) and Stephanie Dickey (Guest Curator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa)
With support from: ING AG, Dagmar-Westberg-Stiftung

Due to the international restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in cooperation with our partner, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, we have decided to change the dates of the exhibition “Becoming Rembrandt: Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam, ca. 1630–1655” at the Städel Museum. It will now be presented at the Städel Museum from 6 October 2021 to January 30 2022 (originally planned for 9 December 2020 to 5 April 2021). Prior to this, the exhibition will be – as planned – on view at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa from 14 May to 6 September 2021.

Gallery

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    Rembrandt, The Abduction of Ganymede, 1635

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    The Abduction of Ganymede, 1635
    177 × 129 cm, Oil on canvas
    Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden

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    Rembrandt, Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes, 1634

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes, 1634
    Oil on canvas, 143 × 154,7 cm
    Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

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    Rembrandt, The Blinding of Samson, 1636

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    The Blinding of Samson, 1636
    Oil on canvas, 206 × 276 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Photo: Städel Museum – U. Edelmann

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    Rembrandt, Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634

    Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634
    Oak wood, 58,4 × 47,7 cm
    Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
    Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie – Christoph Schmidt

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