Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rembrandt and His School: Masterworks from the Frick and Lugt Collections

I saw this today. Rembrandt, who was awesome, with extra awesome sauce: a man of prodigious and humbling talent.

The link says the show is extended through May 22. Plus Mr. Frick's splendid collection regularly on display. The man spent his money well.

When I was young and foolish I thought a good black and white reproduction should be able to give you a pretty good sense of what I black and white etching was like. The I saw a Rembrandt print in person. I changed my opinion that day.

I learned today the print of The Three Crosses from the Frick Collection was printed on vellum rather than paper.

Rembrandt used both drypoint and an engraver's burin to produce this monumental depiction of Christ's crucifixion. He conveys the intensity of the stream of celestial light by rendering the figures in its path with spare contour lines and minimal detail. Their emotions are expressed instead through their demonstrative gestures as, for example, the particular tenderness with which Saint John the Evangelist supports the Virgin to the right of the cross. This impression is printed on vellum, which is less absorbent than paper and lends a matte quality to the ink.

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