Rembrandt drew to hone his skills, record a motif, test compositional ideas and ways of expressing emotion, and provide instructive models for his students. Upon his death, nearly 2,000 drawings by Rembrandt and his followers were found in his studio. Intended for workshop use, the teacher’s drawings are rarely signed. It is a special occasion to see the four drawings on view in Rembrandt in America. Because drawings, like all works on paper, are light sensitive, so they can only be viewed for limited amounts of time.
The drawings complement the theme of questioning attribution/learning to look critically, because two of them may not be by Rembrandt.
“I had the opportunity to meet with the preeminent scholars on Rembrandt drawings in 2009 and discuss the latest thoughts on The Meeting of Christ with Martha and Mary after the Death of Lazarus and Christ Taken before Caiaphas,” Heather Lemonedes, Curator of Drawings said. “It is believed that Christ Taken Before Caiaphas of them is by a follower of Rembrandt.”
Lemonedes says visitors can learn a great deal about Rembrandt’s style from viewing these drawings.
“Rembrandt communicates a vast range of human emotion in these drawings. When I study them, I see figures expressing apprehension, tension, loving care, anticipation of pain and patience. With just a few lines, Rembrandt portrays the complexity of human interaction.”
Rembrandt in America is on view through May 28.