Paintings by Rembrandt and his Followers
From the beginning of February and until the middle of April 2010 the Rembrandt Hall (No. 254) at the New Hermitage is closed for planned restoration of parquet. For that time the Paintings by Rembrandt and his Followers exhibition was relocated to the Nicholas Room of the Winter Palace. The museum visitors were given a rare chance to see famous canvases in a completely new space and with different lightning.
With their powerful treatment of light and shade works by Rembrandt Harmensz
The exhibition is arranged along the central axis of the room, the core of which is formed by three renowned masterpieces of the collection - The Return of the Prodigal Son, The Sacrifice of Abraham and Flora. The next 'room' is also allotted for large historical works. Here there is The Descent from the Cross and famous Danae, the painting with a truly tragic destiny (a quarter of a century ago that canvas became a victim of a vandalism act, as a result of which the painting suffered irreparable damage).
There is a number of small-size compositions to the left of the room entrance. Among them there is A Young Woman Trying Earrings and The parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard, painted in grisaille technique. Restoration of lacquer for these works made it possible to see the smallest details more clearly (locks of hair, hair decorations of the young woman and a magnificent still life with old volumes and papers in the corner of the interior with vinedressers).
The Holy Family painting by Rembrandt, that has always
been arousing admiration of art experts and art lovers, is displayed
on a separate board. Even before it arrived to the Imperial
Hermitage, when the canvas was in Paris, it had been copied
by many famous artists of the 18th century, including
Diversity of the Hermitage portraits performed by Rembrandt himself as well as by the painters of his studio is especially noticeable in new surroundings. They occupy a sidewall at the beginning of the Nicholas Room. This gallery of images by the contemporaries of the great artist also includes such masterpieces of the collection as Portrait of Baartjen Martens and Portrait of the Poet Jeremias de Decker.
The part of the exhibition, which is the most remote from the entrance, is dedicated to the works of pupils of the famous Dutch (Ferdinand Bol, Jan Victors, Willem Drost), who mastered his manner of painting. Almost all these canvases arrived to the Hermitage in the 18th century under the name of Rembrandt and kept such attribution for a very long time, but were gradually related to the creative work of his followers.
The exhibition is prepared by Irina Sokolova, Doctor of culture studies, and the chief research associate of the Department of Western European Art of the State Hermitage.