From Rembrandt to Velázquez: The Rijksmuseum’s new Dutch and Spanish masters exhibition
By Joe Sperrin
Today the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will open it’s doors to a new exhibition assembling works from Rembrandt to Velázquez, and other Dutch and Spanish masters in between. The exhibition will feature 72 works from the masters and will work in association with the Prado Museum in Madrid where the main bulk of Velázquez’s works are kept. The exhibition will also have works from other major galleries worldwide such as the National Gallery in London and MET in New York.
Despite never actually meeting, Rembrandt and Velázquez share a very similar style in terms of technique, form and compositional decisions. The Prado Museum has gone as far to label the exhibition “Parallel Visions”. Whilst most scholarly accounts of 16th and 17th Century Spanish and Dutch art is deemed very different, this exhibition hopes to turn the idea on it’s head and demonstrate the dynamic similarities between the works. The description from the Prado Museum suggests that this exhibition hopes to breakdown the nationalistic tendencies of the 19th and 20th Centuries of associating styles and artists strictly with their nationalities. Instead they hope that the exhibition will open the eyes of the attendees to the dynamic development of styles for each of the artists highlighting the overlap of style between different nationalities.
The exhibition has taken a curious curating style, presenting each Dutch work alongside a supposedly correlating Spanish work. The audience are going to be invited to compare and contrast the works in order to become fully aware of the complexities of style between the Netherlands and Spain in the period. Other artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Zubarán, Zuccaro and Saenredam will be included to give the fullest account of Dutch and Spanish painting in the period. Over the coming months one can presume that critics and connoisseurs alike will frequent the exhibition and reviews will be appearing in the weeks to come. This is surely gong to be one of the most fascinating and thought provoking exhibitions of European Baroque art of the year. The exhibition closes on the 19th January 2020.
Rijksmuseum, ‘Rembrandt-Velázquez: Dutch and Spanish Masters. Dialogues on reality and eternity, religion and beauty’., in Rijksmuesum website, 9 October 2019. (https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rembrandt-velazquez).
Museo del Prado, ‘Velázquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer. Parallel Visions’, in Museo del Prado website, 9 October 2019. (https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/velazquez-rembrandt-vermeer-parallel-visions/7ca4f41d-c9d1-2615-8a81-e2d017ab9757?searchid=abe80659-eadc-e520-b8ef-9997a24dfc7f).