Rembrandt and the Passion exhibition, Hunterian Art Gallery University of Glasgow

The exhibition of Rembrandt and the Passion at the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow is only on for another two weeks. The exhibition centres on a small authentic sketch, a work in oil on an oak panel by Rembrandt of the Entombment of Christ. The exhibition explores the background to the work, in particular the relationship between this sketch and the series of paintings commissioned by Frederick Hendrik, the Prince of Orange on the theme of the Passion, painted between 1635-9, and contemporary with this sketch, although a second overlay of painting, possibly from the 1650’s has been detected, too. This series is now in the Altepinakothek in Munich and the Entombment from the series is also on display, from which it is clear that the painting is not a preparatory sketch. The highly finished central area and the oak panel used suggest that it may have been painted for the open market. There are two paintings from the National Gallery, London in the show of the Ecce Homo and Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross, both oil sketches on paper made in preparation for etchings. Also on display is Jan Lieven’s etching The Raising of Lazarus a work which Rembrandt owned and is now in Brighton Art Gallery. They tackled many of the same subjects and may have shared a studio together. This etching may have provided the initial inspiration for the composition.  There are also etchings of the passion by Rembrandt from the 1650’s in the exhibition, which seems to relate to the second layer of painting of the oil sketch.

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