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2019: Rembrandt's Light

Experience a cinematic retelling of the Dutch Master's pivotal years...

An enduring storyteller; a master of light – Rembrandt is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This landmark exhibition celebrated 350 years since his death with 35 of his iconic paintings, etchings and drawings, including major international loans.

Arranged thematically, Rembrandt’s Light will take you on a journey from high drama and theatricality, to the contemplative and spiritual, showcasing his use of light. The exhibition focusses on the period from 1639–1658, when he lived in his ideal house at Breestraat in the heart of Amsterdam (today the Museum Het Rembrandthuis). Its striking, light-infused studio was where Rembrandt created his most exceptional work including The Denial of St Peter and The Artist’s Studio.

"Unmissable" ★★★★★ Evening Standard

“Another way to appreciate these masterpieces” ★★★★ Londonist

“Girl at a Window appears to float like an illusion before you. She seems to be there in the flesh.” The Times 

Echoing Rembrandt’s power for storytelling, the exhibition’s atmospheric lighting and design has been carefully curated to immerse audiences in his world. In-house curators Jennifer Scott and Helen Hillyard have collaborated with the award-winning cinematographer, Peter Suschitzky, famed for his work on films such as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Mars Attacks! to create this unique experience.

Highlights included the contemplative Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb and three of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings of women: A Woman Bathing in a Stream, A Woman in Bed and the Gallery’s Girl at a Window all hanging together.

The exhibition was the first to use a new innovative LED Bluetooth lighting system designed by Erco, whilst, in the final room, artist Stuart Semple provided his Black 3.0 (the world’s blackest black acrylic paint) to create a dramatic backdrop for some of Rembrandt’s finest portraits.

A free audioguide was included, providing extra insight and context to each room in the exhibition. The audioguide was produced with Imagineear.

Image credit: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Denial of St Peter, 1660 © The Rijksmuseum; Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb, 1638, Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019; Landscape with the rest on the flight to Egypt, 1647, National Gallery of Ireland Collection. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland
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