Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple,” 1635. Etching and drypoint. Collection University of San Diego. Gift of Robert and Karen Hoehn. PC2004.01.03.

The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) is presenting the extraordinary artistic accomplishment of Rembrandt and 17th-century painters and printmakers from the Dutch Republic in “Rembrandt and Printmaking in the Netherlands,” an exhibition including approximately 20 etchings and engravings by Rembrandt from the museum’s permanent collection and on loan from the important Rembrandt collection of the University of San Diego (USD). Guests can virtually see the exhibition via the 360 Virtual Tour tool online.

Unlike contemporaries, Rembrandt’s etchings were not reproductive of his paintings and are considered individual masterpieces. Rembrandt was among the greatest innovators in the history of art, producing masterpieces of painting, draftsmanship, and printmaking. Some of the works have never been seen before publicly while others have been in dark storage for the last two decades, presenting a unique opportunity for visitors to view these special etchings. Notable works include “The Descent from the Cross” (ca. 1650–52) and “Rembrandt’s Mother with Her Hand on Her Chest: Small Bust” (1631).

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Descent from the Cross by Torchlight” etching
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Descent from the Cross by Torchlight,” 1654. Etching. Collection University of San Diego. Gift of Robert and Karen Hoehn. PC2004.01.05.
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Rembrandt's Mother with Her Hand on Her Chest: Small Bust" etching
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Rembrandt’s Mother with Her Hand on Her Chest: Small Bust,” 1631. Etching. Gift of Mrs. Irving T. Snyder. 1952.39.

In his best-known etching, “Self-portrait, Etching at a Window” (1648), Rembrandt shows himself at work—holding a drypoint needle, which he is using to add details to an etched copper plate. His signature hanging in the window is done with this delicate tool.

While he continued to paint self-portraits through his career, this was the first in a decade in etching, and is currently on view in the exhibition.

Etching self-portrait by Rembrandt
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn. “Self-portrait, Etching at a Window,” 1648. Etching, drypoint, and burin on laid paper. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Helen M. Towle Bequest. 1947.64.d.

In addition to the unique etchings by Rembrandt featured inside the exhibition, the museum also has on view* a masterpiece loan from the Rijksmuseum, an extraordinary oil on canvas by Rembrandt painted around 1628 when the artist was only 21 or 22. Rembrandt was a dedicated self-portraitist and roughly 40 of his self-portraits exist today, allowing the changes in his appearance throughout the years to be read biographically.

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Jan Cornelisz Sylvius, Preacher" etching
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, “Jan Cornelisz Sylvius, Preacher,” 1633. Etching on laid paper. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Helen M. Towle Bequest. 1947.64.b.

For more information please visit sdmart.org. The San Diego Museum of Art is temporarily closed* for in-person visits following new indoor restrictions and guidelines put in place by San Diego County. Visit the 360 Virtual Tour tool online to see the exhibition.


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