Exhibition of the Month: Rembrandt and Company at the National Gallery

Our Drawing exhibition of the month takes us to Washington, DC, where the National Gallery of Art is hosting a fascinating show that explores the ways artists of the Dutch Golden Age used drawing to prepare their amazing paintings.

Dutch landscapes, still lifes, and scenes of daily life possess a remarkable immediacy and authenticity, giving the impression that Dutch artists painted them from life. However, artists actually executed these works—as well as biblical and mythological subjects—in studios, often using drawings as points of departure. “Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt” gathers more than 90 drawings and 25 paintings by such Golden Age masters as Aelbert Cuyp, Pieter Jansz Saenredam, and Rembrandt van Rijn to reveal the many ways Dutch artists used preliminary drawings in the painting process. Among the selections are compositional drawings, individual figure studies, carefully ruled construction drawings, and sketchbooks. The exhibition also includes several paintings, examining the underdrawings artists made on their panel and canvas supports before painting their scenes.

Drawing Exhibitions | Rembrandt | Artist's Network

Joseph Telling His Dreams, by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633, grisaille on paper, 21 15/16 x 15¼. Collection Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. All artwork this exhibition courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

“Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt” is on view through January 2, 2007. After its stay in Washington it travels to Paris, where it will be on view at the Fondation Custodia from February 3 to May 7. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog. Enjoy this sample of artworks from the show, and if you’re in or around Washington this fall, we hope you get the chance to see them in person.

Drawing Exhibition | Pieter Jansz Saenredam | Artist's Network

The Choir of the St. Bavo in Haarlem, by Pieter Jansz Saenredam, ca. 1597–1665, oil on panel, 19 5/16 x 14 7/16. Collection Fondation Custodia, Paris, France.

Drawing Exhibition | Gonzales Coques | Artist's Network

Portrait of a Man Receiving a Letter From a Boy, attributed to Gonzales Coques, ca. 1660, oil on panel, 22 x 17 3/8. The Orsay Collection, London and Paris.

Drawing Exhibition | Michiel van Musscher | Artist's Network

An Artist in His Studio With His Drawings, by Michiel van Musscher, mid-1660s, oil on panel, 18½ x 14 3/16. The Princely Collections, Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

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