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The Golden Hour: Rembrandt’s Etchings and Societal Transformation in the Seventeenth Century

Rembrandt van Rijn’s (Dutch, 1606–1669) name is synonymous with the greatness–even genius–of artistic expression that transcends time and space. After four centuries, his continuing recognition as one of the giants of art history resides in the masterful technique and content of his work, which embodies shared human beliefs and emotions. Producing well over 200 print compositions, his reputation as a printmaker was secured in his lifetime and has only been enhanced over time.

The seventeenth century in Holland and Western Europe was a time of rapid change in the spheres of class structure, economics, politics, and religion. Communication and trade across borders precipitated the spread of ideas that transformed societies, nurturing the earliest seeds of modernization. As an artist of that period, Rembrandt’s renown as a painter was heightened and spread by the prints he disseminated through impressions and etchings.

This exhibition of 42 etchings from the Museum’s collection will focus on images of people and places that convey the state of the seventeenth-century Dutch society as it evolved from a feudal, agrarian-based state to one informed by advances in commerce and technology.

Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Relevant research areas: Eastern Europe, Baroque, Etching

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