Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

Master, prodigy, genius or star - the synonyms for Rembrandt are as multifarious as his art which enthrals people the world over. But why is that? This question will be explored in Winter 2019/20 at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum by a wide-ranging special exhibition: Inside Rembrandt • 1606-1669 is an homage marking the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death († 4 October 1669 in Amsterdam). It dives into the world of the Dutchman and tells by means of visually stunning works the drama of the artist's life ranging from tragedy to comedy. For this the Wallraf will not only be showing its own Rembrandts but also prestigious loans from numerous international houses. The historic National Gallery in Prague is lending the fascinating painting Scholar at his Study – allowing it be displayed for only the second time ever in another country. In order to celebrate Rembrandt’s cosmos in all its facets the exhibition will also feature select works by his contemporaries and students, such as Jan Lievens, Govert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol. Inside Rembrandt is on show from 1 November 2019 to 1 March 2020 in Cologne and is a cooperation between the Wallraf-Richartz Museum and the National Gallery Prague.

The exhibition Inside Rembrandt begins where it all began for Rembrandt, in Leiden in the Netherlands. It was there that he was born on 15 July 1606, and where he spent his childhood and youth in an intellectual climate that had a lasting impact on both his personal and his professional life. And it was there too that in 1625 he opened his first studio. Thanks to the inclusion of a number of early Rembrandt works, this special exhibition bears eloquent witness to the intensity and love of detail which already marked the artist’s portraiture. He posed his figures lovingly and intelligently in suitable interiors and bathed them in a truly spiritual light. But his home town proved too small for this ambitious young man so he moved in the early 1630s to Amsterdam. Here he honed his skills and achieved true mastery, and rapidly rose to be the best paid painter in the Netherlands. It was at this time, while at the peak of his artistic career, that Rembrandt painted his Prague “Scholar”. This magnificent painting reveals all of the artist's abilities and ambition, which is why it hangs at the heart of the exhibition. Together with the accompanying works, it testifies to the radiance of the Dutchman's oeuvre. But this is not only found in his own paintings, etchings and drawings, but also in those of his pupils, studio hands and colleagues, who all vied with him. Every visitor to Inside Rembrandt will get to know a new side of this genius and gain a deeper understanding of him.