Rembrandt in Conversation

A central thread in the history of art is the centuries-long conversation among artists. Many artists paid attention to what others had done or were doing, and then responded, sometimes obviously, sometimes not—sometimes approvingly, sometimes not. Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) was an avid participant in the discussion. He had a tremendous knowledge of earlier art. He owned an extensive art collection, regularly haunted art auctions, and saw yet more art in other collections in the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam, where he lived. He also had a competitive streak. One imagines him rummaging through his stacks of prints as he developed ideas for his own images. This exhibition places a number of Rembrandt’s prints in the company of works that sparked his interest, as well as those by other artists who reacted to Rembrandt.