Portrait Prints by Rembrandt at the Norton Simon Museum
For over 40 years, Park West Gallery has been a world-wide source for collectors of original etchings by Rembrandt Van Rijn, the artist viewed by so many as the greatest etcher of all time. Learn all about Rembrandt and the art of etching at the Park West Gallery/Rembrandt Website >>
PASADENA, Calif. — The Norton Simon Museum presents The Familiar Face: Portrait Prints by Rembrandt, an exhibition of 15 etchings by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669). Rembrandt’s prominence as a painter of portraits, particularly those of the merchants and burghers of Amsterdam, is well known. But the artist’s etched prints also have a place and purpose in recording the visages of his contemporaries. A skilled, innovative printmaker, Rembrandt embraced etching as a means of expression and experimentation. The artworks in The Familiar Face illustrate the artist’s keen power of observation as well as his gift for drama and humor.
Culled from the Norton Simon’s extensive collection of Rembrandt prints, the artworks on view offer a window to some of the personalities of Rembrandt’s age. Although 17th-century Holland had an active trade in the portraits of politicians, heroes and renowned scholars, the majority of portrait prints made by Rembrandt were not intended for such a market. We know this because his prints do not bear the characteristic etched captions identifying the name and public role of the subject.
Together, the 15 works presented in The Familiar Face shed light on Rembrandt’s world and introduce us to some of his friends, family members and contemporaries. The exhibition addresses the function of these portrait prints, whether they were commissioned, created at the artist’s initiative, or perhaps done as a meditation on the visage of a loved one.
The Familiar Face: Portrait Prints by Rembrandt is now on view through March 22, 2010.
For more information, please visit www.nortonsimon.org
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