Compare two great masters of the 17th century, profoundly different in style and approach yet united in their genius
Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt van Rijn are two of the most revered artists of Northern Europe; each had enormous impact on the art of their own time and on the generations that followed, yet their individual styles and approaches differed immensely.
The suave, erudite artist and diplomat Rubens, a native of Antwerp, was the dominant force in Flemish art of his generation, who found success among prestigious patrons across Europe.
In contrast, in Leiden and Amsterdam, Rembrandt forged a bold and independent path that often went against prevailing taste. Choosing to focus on his close surroundings and to explore the depths of human emotion, he rarely, if ever, traveled beyond the Dutch border.
This special display of selected works by the two artists – among the most represented in the National Gallery Collection – provides an opportunity to absorb the depth and diversity of their work, and to recognise the individual character of these giants of northern European Baroque.