Rembrandt’s Light at Dulwich Picture Gallery

This week, The Dulwich Picture Gallery reopened after shutting down on 13th November following the attempted robbery of two masterpieces by the Dutch artist.

Rembrandt’s Light is one of the most remarkable exhibitions staged in London right now. Celebrating the 350 years since Rembrandt’s death and including major loans from Musée du Louvre (one of the two paintings attempted to be stolen – now returned to France) and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

The exhibition focuses on 1639–1658, when the artist lived in his house at Breestraat in the heart of Amsterdam (today the Museum Het Rembrandthuis). Its light-infused studio allowed Rembrandt to experiment with light and helped him produce masterpieces including The Denial of St Peter and The Artist’s Studio.

In the fascinating audio guide, Dulwich Picture Gallery curators Jennifer Scott and Helen Hillyard explain that if Rembrandt were alive today, he’d be a cinematographer. This sentence encapsulates the conceptual framework of this amazing exhibition. The two eminent curators have worked with the award-winning cinematographer, Peter Suschitzky, celebrated for his work on films such as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Mars Attacks! to create this experiential, immersive exhibition.

In the final impressive room, artist Stuart Semple used his Black 3.0 (the world’s blackest black acrylic paint) to create a dramatic setting for Rembrandt’s finest portraits including the famous 1642’s Royal Collection Trust’s Self-Portrait. In this room the stunning Girl at a Window comforts the idea of Rembrandt as one Art History’s geniuses. The girl, painted in striking details, almost seems to touch her necklace and come out of the dark frame of the painting. Absolutely fantastic.

Image:  Detail from Girl at a Window by Rembrandt. Photograph: courtesy Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery