Rembrandt’s Light at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Rembrandt’s Light, a major exhibition exploring the artist’s mastery of light through 35 of his greatest paintings, etchings and drawings will be staged at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The exhibition will be on view from 4th October 2019 to 2nd February 2020.

Jennifer Scott, The Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: “Over 200 years ago, Sir John Soane revolutionised architecture with his innovative top-lit design for Dulwich Picture Gallery. Taking inspiration from Soane’s ambition to create the ideal conditions for viewing paintings, we are thrilled to present a fresh approach to Rembrandt, focusing on the 19 years when he had access to the ideal light for creating art. Our own remarkable ‘Girl at a Window’ will play a starring role alongside masterpieces from some of the world’s other great art collections. Visitors familiar with the Dutch master of light should prepare to fall in love with Rembrandt all over again, and new audiences will find an immersive way-in to an artist who, had he been alive today, would have given film-makers a run for their money.”

Arranged thematically, the exhibition will trace Rembrandt’s mastery of light and shadow, revealing how he used both for dramatic effect, from evoking different moods in religious and mythological stories, to depicting raw human emotion in the subjects he knew well. It will focus on Rembrandt’s critical middle period of 1639-1658 when he lived in his dream house on the Breestraat in central Amsterdam.

Highlights will include major international loans including The Pilgrims at Emmaus, 1648 (Musée du Louvre, Paris) and – shown for the first time ever in the UK –Philemon and Baucis, 1658 (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC), Tobit and Anna with the Kid, 1645 and The Dream of Joseph, 1645 (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin).

The accompanying book, Rembrandt’s Light, by Jennifer Scott and Helen Hillyard, is published by Philip Wilson Publishers and includes essays by the curators and by David de Witt and Franziska Gottwald and features an interview with cinematographer Peter Suschitzky.

Peter Suschitzky said: “I have been inspired by the work of the greatest Old Masters throughout my life, so to have the opportunity to work with some of Rembrandt’s finest paintings is hugely exciting. Rembrandt seems to me to have been striving to find a universal truth in the human condition and used light to create motion and emotion. This parallels cinematography, where sculpting light and directing the gaze of the viewer to the desired place in an image is essential for powerful storytelling.”