Skip to Main Content

Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt

October 4, 2016 – January 2, 2017
West Building, Ground Floor, West Outer Tier Galleries

Michiel van Musscher, An Artist in His Studio with His Drawings, mid-1660s, oil on panel, Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz-Vienna.

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

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. More than 90 drawings and 27 paintings by such renowned Golden Age masters as Aelbert CuypPieter Jansz Saenredam, and Rembrandt van Rijn reveal the many ways Dutch artists used preliminary drawings in the painting process. The exhibition includes compositional drawings, individual figure studies, carefully ruled construction drawings, and sketchbooks. It also examines the underdrawings artists made on their panel and canvas supports before painting their scenes. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris

Sponsors: The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Dr. Mihael and Mrs. Mahy Polymeropoulos.

Additional funding is provided by The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art.

Attendance: 67,034

Catalog: Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt. By Ger Luijten, Peter Schatborn and Arthur Wheelock, Jr.  Milan: Skira editore, 2016.

Other venues: Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, February 4–May 7, 2017