The Family Portrait (ca. 1665) usually hangs in Braunschweig, in Germany. It has not been moved from there since 1956. Especially for this exhibition, it will be hung in the Rijksmuseum.In the final stage of his career, it seemed Rembrandt was no longer concerned with fashion and conventions. Whereas his former pupils had long ago adopted a smoother style of painting, Rembrandt went one step further; moulding, scratching and plastering to his heart’s content. He made remarkably tender paintings of people who clearly loved one another. Never before in art history had intimacy and love gone together so well with rough daubs and plastered streaks of paint. Not only does it still appeal to us today, but some of his contemporaries also loved this daring late work by the old master
Family in exotic attire
The scene of a family depicted in historical or exotic attire is not what distinguished this work. Many painters were doing that at the time. But this late painting by Rembrandt surpasses all other family portraits in the warmth you sense between the subjects of the portrait. The baby touching its mother’s bosom is endearing. In order to emphasise this tender gesture, Rembrandt had the idea of letting the blouse fall open, so that the boy’s hand comes into contact with his mother’s skin.
Early on in his career, Rembrandt was experimenting with all sorts of techniques, like moulding with paint. In his later works, it became his trademark
Learned from Lievens
When Rembrandt was younger, he was already experimenting with new techniques, scratching his paintings and moulding with paint. By doing so, he achieved the three-dimensional effect he sought, particularly in his paintings of clothing and robes. Rembrandt probably learned this technique from Jan Lievens, a fellow painter at the workshop in Leiden.
Rembrandt combined endearment and thick daubs of paint in a wonderful way.
From a distance, it is a carefully painted representation of fabric, but from close up it looks like mud
Rembrandt once learned how to mould with paint from his former workshop colleague Jan Lievens.
Over het schilderij
- Family Portrait, ca. 1665
- Oil on canvas, 126 x 167 cm
- Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Kunstmuseum des Landes Niedersachsen, Braunschweig
On display at the ‘Late Rembrandt’ exhibition will be more than a hundred works created during the last phase of Rembrandt’s life. To get you in the mood, here are twelve works included in this spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.
The Syndics, 1662
A meeting of five important inspectors of the Amsterdam drapers’ guild behind a table. Rembrandt turned this meeting into a visually exciting scene.Read more
Self Portrait with Two Circles, ca. 1665-1669
Rembrandt made many self-portraits during his career. What makes this one so notable is his ruthless honesty in portraying himself.Read more
Bathsheba with King David’s Letter, 1654
This is one of the most famous paintings hanging in Louvre. Here we see a beautiful young woman bathing. She has just read a letter and now finds herself in a dilemma.Read more
The Jewish Bride, ca. 1665
What you immediately notice about this large painting is Rembrandt’s rough application of paint. In this work, Rembrandt broke with all conventions of the day by smeering on and scratching through the paint.Read more
The Family Portrait, ca. 1665
‘The Family Portrait’ has not travelled since 1956. Just for this once, it is on loan to the Rijksmuseum especially for this exhibtion.Read more
A Woman bathing in a Stream, 1654
Here we see an alluring woman wading through the water while slowly lifting the hem of her dress. But who is this beauty?Read more
Recumbent Lion, ca. 1660-1665
Rembrandt preferred to draw lifelike representations of things he saw around him in real life. This lion is a good example.Read more
A Young Woman sleeping, ca. 1654
This drawing of a woman taking a quick nap is very typical of Rembrandt: an artist who was always recording the little scenes in his everyday life.Read more
Jacob blessing the sons of Joseph, 1656
When painting this Biblical story about Jacob, Rembrandt chose an unexpected moment that must have been a surprising choice for viewers of his day.Read more
Titus at his Desk, 1655
Rembrandt made clever use of painting techniques to evoke a sense of endearment when viewing this work in which we can recognise his own son.Read more
The conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis, ca. 1661-1662
In this painting, Rembrandt made use of a clever and entirely new technique to tell a story.Read more
Portrait of Frederick Rihel on Horseback, ca. 1663
As an artist, Rembrandt was familiar with the rules of portraiture but he pushed the boundaries whenever possible.Read more