Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first international exhibition of 2019, Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre, will bring together paintings and drawings by Dutch masters Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and their contemporaries.
Opening on 14 February 2019, the exhibition will survey Rembrandt’s artistic journey in Leiden and Amsterdam and his relationships with rivals and peers, including Johannes Vermeer, Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Carel Fabritius, Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris and Frans Hals.
During the Golden Age, the Dutch Republic established itself as a world leader in trade, science and the arts. Set against this backdrop of cultural exchange, exploration and discovery, the show will explore the artistic traditions that flourished in Leiden and the wider Netherlands in this period, including the development of a new school of artists, called the fijnschilders (fine painters), best known for their exquisitely rendered scenes of daily life.
The exhibition features 95 works and objects, among them 22 paintings and drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn that include sensitively-rendered portraits, a renowned self-portrait, Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes and Minerva in Her Study (both from The Leiden Collection) and his monumental history painting of the goddess Minerva.
The exhibition will also include paintings and drawings by Rembrandt’s contemporaries in the Netherlands, as well as several small paintings by 17th-century fine painters, some of which were later owned by King Louis XVI of France
On this extraordinary occasion, Johannes Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal (The Leiden Collection) and The Lacemaker (Musée du Louvre), two paintings on canvas cut from the same bolt, will hang beside one another for the first time in 300 years.
The exhibition is curated by Blaise Ducos, Chief Curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musée du Louvre, and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Curator of The Leiden Collection and a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art.
Blaise Ducos said: “During the 17th century, exceptional economic, social and political circumstances enabled one country, the Republic of the United Provinces, to become the world’s leading economic power. The Dutch were living in what they considered a ‘Golden Age’. In this context, major artistic figures like Rembrandt or Vermeer flourished. Through the confrontation of masterpieces from the Musée du Louvre and The Leiden Collection, this exhibition tells this extraordinary story. This show does not intend to provide a panorama of Dutch painting in the 17th century, but by mentioning different glimpses, first and foremost through Leiden’s sight, it refers to the culture of artistic exchange within which Vermeer worked.”
The exhibition runs from 14 February to 18 May 2019.
Entrance to the exhibition is free with the museum ticket. Children under 13 enter the museum free. Visitors can tour the exhibition through a multimedia guide available in Arabic, English and French.
For more information on the exhibition or ticket bookings, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae or call Louvre Abu Dhabi at +971 600 56 55 66.
See also: The Masters of Dutch Golden Age Painting