Becoming
Rembrandt

Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam

12/8/2020–4/5/2021

About the Exhibition

In a major exhibition, the Städel Museum, together with the National Gallery of Canada, will for the first time address Rembrandt’s rise to international fame during his formative years in Amsterdam, between 1630 and 1655. 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 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. Rembrandt's pictorial production, and his impact, were surprisingly broad, encompassing landscapes, genre scenes, and still life as well as history paintings and portraits. Groupings of closely related paintings will illuminate Rembrandt's place in Amsterdam’s creative network and show how the confrontation with his competitors influenced his artistic development and 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 still known today as Rembrandt.

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

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 Germany, Dagmar-Westberg-Stiftung

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
    Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie – Christoph Schmidt

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