This is an ambitious exhibition presenting for the first time an overview of the image of the “Orient” in the 17th century Netherlands. It pinpoints the moment when the nascent Dutch Republic played a key role as the source for paintings, prints, maps and publishing in Europe. As a result of contact with the people and objects of the Middle East and Asia through international trade but also war, the influence of foreign cultures inspired Dutch artists to create novel imagery, in history scenes, portraits and still lifes.
Divided into ten sections, the exhibition is built on a core selection of works by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, including self-portraits dressed in exotic costumes, his copies of Mughal miniatures, and prints on Japanese paper. Works by Rembrandt’s colleagues and students, such as Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Pieter de Grebber, Govert Flink, Monogrammist I.S. are also presented to showcase the impact of the intercultural exchange.
Organized in partnership between the Kunstmuseum Basel and Museum Barberini, Potsdam, Rembrandt’s Orient held onto the dates for the Basel stop (31 Oct 2020 – 14 Feb 2021) which was originally going to come after Potsdam (now opening 13 Mar 2021). It is curated by Bodo Brinkmann and Gary Schwartz. ❖