Rembrandt: The Late Works

Watch our films introducing the exhibition 'Rembrandt: The Late Works'
Trailer for Rembrandt: The Late Works

Trailer for Rembrandt: The Late Works

The National Gallery’s exhibition of Rembrandt’s late works is really a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the power, and intensity, of Rembrandt as an artist.

The exhibition brings together paintings, drawings and prints that represent the highest achievements of Rembrandt’s entire career.

These were really testing times for Rembrandt. He had undergone financial crises, and the death of many of his closest loved ones, but he still perseveres as an artist.

These really are the finest works of Rembrandt’s career.

More from Rembrandt: The Late Works (2 videos)

00:48
Trailer for Rembrandt: The Late Works
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The National Gallery’s exhibition of Rembrandt’s late works is really a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the power, and intensity, of Rembrandt as an artist.

The exhibition brings together paintings, drawings and prints that represent the highest achievements of Rembrandt’s entire career.

These were really testing times for Rembrandt. He had undergone financial crises, and the death of many of his closest loved ones, but he still perseveres as an artist.

These really are the finest works of Rembrandt’s career.

03:07
Introduction to Rembrandt: The Late Works
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Watch curator Betsy Wieseman introduce our autumn 2014 exhibition, Rembrandt: The Late Works.

Rembrandt’s later years were turbulent and marked with controversy, but they also produced some of his most soulful, deeply moving and strikingly modern works.

Through famous masterpieces and rare drawings and prints, Rembrandt: The Late Works examines the themes that preoccupied Rembrandt as he grew older: self-scrutiny, experimentation, light, observation of everyday life and even other artists’ works; as well as expressions of intimacy, contemplation, conflict and reconciliation.

The exhibition, organised in collaboration with Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, offers you an opportunity to experience the passion, emotion and innovation of the great master.

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Learn more about the exhibition

Rembrandt van Rijn was one of the great masters of the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. In this exhibition of works from late in the artist’s career, we see him bringing together all the aims and ambitions of a lifetime.

The exhibition brings together paintings, drawings and prints that represent the highest achievements of Rembrandt’s entire career. We’ll be exhibiting a number of self-portraits by the artist, including the fantastic ‘Self Portrait with Two Circles’ from Kenwood House in which Rembrandt seems to express his aims and aspirations as a painter.

The exhibition will include many of Rembrandt’s most iconic works, for example, ‘The Syndics’ from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, but also works that haven’t been seen before in this country, for example, ‘The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis’, which is coming to us from Stockholm. Throughout his career, Rembrandt pushed the boundaries of what was possible with artistic technique; not just in painting but also in drawings and prints. For example, in The Three Crosses Rembrandt uses the drypoint technique with incredible expressive power, something that no artist had done before. And there are also incredibly beautiful drawings, for example, the drawing of a ‘Young Woman Sleeping’. It looks absolutely modern in its simplicity and directness. It’s almost abstract in its beauty.

But Rembrandt wasn’t just experimenting with artistic technique. He was also searching to find a deeper emotional content to his works. For example, in a painting such as ‘The Jewish Bride’, we’re not only dazzled by Rembrandt’s technique but we also see an incredibly tender gesture and a very intimate moment between a man and a woman. It’s a fine example of how Rembrandt really looked to get to the emotional core of his subjects, whether they were portraits, or historical scenes.

These were really testing times for Rembrandt. In his self-portraits, we see a man aged and weathered. He had undergone financial crises, and the death of many of his closest loved ones. But he still perseveres as an artist; he’s come though the storms and emerged unbeaten. These really are the finest works of Rembrandt’s career.