Rembrandt and Vermeer at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Two of Johannes Vermeer’s most celebrated paintings will hang next to each other for the first time in 300 years as part of a new exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Young Woman Seated at a Virginal (The Leiden Collection) and The Lacemaker (Musée du Louvre), two paintings on canvas cut from the same bolt of cloth will hang beside one another in the institution’s first exhibition for 2019.
Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre, will bring together paintings and drawings by Dutch masters Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and their contemporaries. The exhibition will survey Rembrandt’s artistic journey in Leiden and Amsterdam and his relationships with rivals and peers, including Johannes Vermeer, Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Carel Fabritius, Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris and Frans Hals.
The exhibition will feature 22 paintings and drawings from across Rembrandt’s career and his workshop – from his early famed series of allegorical paintings of the senses to later works created in Amsterdam, including sensitively-rendered portraits and a renowned self-portrait, Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes from The Leiden Collection. These works are displayed alongside paintings by other masters from Rembrandt’s artistic circle, demonstrating the influence that this remarkable group of artists had on each other’s work.
During the Golden Age, the Dutch Republic established itself as a world leader in trade, science, and the arts. Set against this backdrop of cultural exchange, exploration and discovery, the show will explore the artistic traditions that flourished in Leiden and the wider Netherlands in this period, including the development of a new school of artists, called the fijnschilders (fine painters), best known for their exquisitely rendered scenes of daily life.
95 artworks, including paintings, drawings and objects, primarily drawn from The Leiden Collection, one of the largest and most significant private collections of artworks from the Dutch Golden Age, highlighted with the Musée du Louvre exceptional collections. Loans from the Rijksmuseum and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France will complete the presentation. On view until 18 May 2019, the exhibition is curated by Blaise Ducos, Chief Curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musée du Louvre, and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Curator of The Leiden Collection and a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said that the exhibition “underscores the connections between artists that, no doubt, made this period “golden”. This is the very first time a blockbuster exhibition of the Dutch masters comes to the UAE and it is extremely special that two Vermeer paintings from the same piece of canvas are hung next to each other for the first time in 300 years. I would like to thank our partners, the Musée du Louvre and The Leiden Collection, for making it possible.”
Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre opens February 14, 2019.