Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master at Scottish National Gallery, July 7 – October 14, 2018

“Britain’s love affair with one of history’s greatest artists will be explored in the major Festival exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery this summer. Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master is the first exhibition to tell the exceptionally rich story of how Rembrandt’s work in Britain has enraptured and inspired collectors, artists and writers over the past 400 years. This major new exhibition, which will only be shown in Edinburgh, will bring together key works by Rembrandt which remain in British collections, as well as treasures that have left the country. Some of the exhibits have never been on public display before, while others return to Britain for the first time in decades, some after even a century or more.

The genius of Rembrandt (1606-69) is so universally admired, and his imagery so ubiquitous, that he has become a global brand like few other artists in history; yet no nation has demonstrated such a passionate, and sometimes eccentric, enthusiasm for Rembrandt’s (or indeed any artist’s) works. As a result, there is a wealth of paintings, drawings and prints by Rembrandt in British collections, and the number of his works that have been here at some point in their history is staggering, surpassing any other country apart from the Netherlands, where they originated.” — Scottish National Gallery

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69). Belshazzar’s Feast, c.1635. Oil on canvas, 167.6 x 209.2 cm.  Collection: National Gallery, London Bought with a contribution from The Art Fund, 1964.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69). A Woman in Bed, about 1645 – 1646. Oil on canvas, 81.1 x 67.8 cm. Collection: National Galleries of Scotland, presented by William McEwan 1892. Photo: Antonia Reeve

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69). Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1647. Oil on wood panel, 34 x 48 cm. Collection: National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, purchased, 1883

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) The Mill, 1645/1648 Oil on canvas, 87.6 x 105.6 cm Collection: National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA Widener Collection

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69). A Man in Armour (‘Achilles’), 1655. Oil on canvas, 137.5 x 104.4 cm. Collection: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow Life (Glasgow Museums) on behalf of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow

Christopher Baker, Director, European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at National Galleries of Scotland, said: “This exhibition provides an extraordinary opportunity to study the staggering range of Rembrandt’s achievement and its profound impact on British taste and art. Featuring both major international loans and many less well-known rarities, it tells a riveting story. From the collectors of the artist’s own life time in the seventeenth century to today’s painters, Rembrandt has cast a spell on the British imagination. It’s a tale of scholarship and money, of privilege and popularity – and it’s all laid out exclusively in Edinburgh this summer!”

Images courtesy Scottish National Gallery.