Rembrandt Now: Technical Practice, Conservation and Research

This event was held from 13 November 2014 to 15 November 2014

Date and time

13-15 November 2014

Sainsbury Wing Lecture Theatre


£285. This fee will include an evening reception at the Gallery, and a morning private view of the exhibition

To register and pay, please click here

This three-day scholarly conference on Rembrandt’s technical practice for painting coincides with the exhibition on Rembrandt’s late career, 'Rembrandt: The Late Works'. The exhibition is co-organised with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and will transfer there early in 2015. 

The conference is designed for art historians, scholars and curators of Rembrandt and Dutch art generally in museums, collections and universities; conservators and scientists interested in the technical history of painting; and specialists in the scientific and technical examination of works of art.

The Conference will present research under seven themes:

  • Rembrandt’s Early Work
  • Conservation and Discovery
  • New Techniques/Technologies of Examination of Paintings (as applied to Rembrandt)
  • Rembrandt’s Painting Materials
  • Technical Interpretation of Key Works by Rembrandt
  • The Theory of Rembrandt’s Methods and Contemporary Practice
  • Research-Led Documentation on Rembrandt.

Under the themes noted, papers will consider the use of technical evidence, whether acquired by new or more traditional technologies, to advance our understanding of Rembrandt as a painter and his development, as illuminated by discoveries on his materials and practice. 

It is particularly timely to consider the results of technical research on Rembrandt, since many researchers around the world, particularly in Europe, the UK and the United States, have turned fresh eyes and, recently, newer technologies to Rembrandt studies.

At the same time a number of important conservation treatments of paintings by Rembrandt have been carried out in collections around the world in the last five years, and the revelations brought about by the cleaning of these paintings will be of great interest to the Rembrandt scholarly and curatorial community.


Please see the PDF below for the conference programme.

PDF file Conference programme [PDF 109kb - opens in a new window]

Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery will open the Conference.  Papers will be presented by an international range of contributors and there will be a keynote lecture by Professor Ernst van de Wetering.  The conference will end with a closing panel discussion led by David Bomford (Director of Conservation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston).

The papers are all from invited speakers whose work has led them particularly to use technical information to advance art-historical scholarship and interpretation directly, or to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations to these ends.

Confirmed contributors to the programme include speakers from: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; The Mauritshuis, The Hague; RKD, The Hague; Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; The National Gallery, London; Musée du Louvre, Paris; C2RMF, Paris; The Royal Collection, UK; KIK-IRPA, Brussels; The Metropolitan Museum, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Yale University, New Haven; University of Glasgow, UK; The University of Antwerp, Belgium, The Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

Siebold Foundation logo

Supported by the Siebold Stichting Foundation and Fukushima Medical University. Alongside supporting exhibitions and publications devoted to Dutch art of the seventeenth century, the Siebold Stichting Foundation works with Fukushima Medical University on art therapy projects to help those affected by the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

Image above: Detail from Rembrandt, ‘A Woman bathing in a Stream (Hendrickje Stoffels?)’, 1654