Original Rembrandt sketches on display at new MOA exhibition


Rembrandt van Rijn was once quoted as saying, “Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.” This spring the BYU Museum of Art has given the Dutch artist’s work its own atmosphere.

Rembrandt's etching "Goldsmith" is one of the MOA's bew acquisitions on display with the exhibition "Rembrant's Amsterdam." (Courtesy of The MOA)
Rembrandt’s etching “Goldsmith” is one of the MOA’s new acquisitions on display with the exhibition “Rembrant’s Amsterdam.” (Courtesy of The MOA)

“Rembrandt’s Amsterdam,” the MOA’s newest acquisition featuring a selection of original prints and etches by Rembrandt, will be on display through mid April 2013.

Rembrandt was one of the most successful painters in Amsterdam’s 17th-century Golden Age. Dawn Pheysey, curator of religious art at the MOA, described Rembrandt’s art.

“Rembrandt always painted people just as common people,” said Pheysey. “He didn’t idealize his figures. They often weren’t very beautiful, but they were human. He was never condemning of people or their plights in life resulting from poor choices. He was always sympathetic to people and their circumstances.”

The etchings at the exhibition were donated by the Malouf Family of Texas and pieces from the MOA’s collection.

The new exhibition coincides with the 10th anniversary of BYU’s Center for the Study of Europe. As part of the celebrations, the museum will be hosting an event highlighting Dutch culture on April 1, at 5 p.m. The event, “Amsterdam Old and New,” will include visiting musicians from Amsterdam who will be performing music from their recent collaboration with BYU faculty composer Steve Ricks.

Martha Peacock, professor of art history,  who curated the exhibition, will be speaking about Rembrandt at the event.

“The evening should give students a better view of Amsterdam in historical and contemporary perspectives,” Peacock said.

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