press release

Rembrandt’s Mark
June 14–September 15, 2019

2019 marks 350 years since Rembrandt’s death. The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), which hold one of the most significant collections of his paintings, drawings and prints, are celebrating the artist at this occasion with a large exhibition of his works. Rembrandt’s Mark centres around the graphic artist and draughtsman and takes a look at an artist who has been studied by artists more than any other.

The one-of-a-kind collection at the Kupferstich-Kabinett in Dresden underpins the exhibition, which focusses on Rembrandt’s narrative compositions, his etched self-portraits and studies of his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh. The presentation comprises approximately 100 works from all of the artist’s creative periods and around 50 etchings and drawings by students of his workshop as well as works by subsequent artists who considered Rembrandt an authority and a source of creative inspiration. The show, complemented by loans from national and international museums, including the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Courtauld Gallery in London, the Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, the Graphische Sammlung in Munich, the Städelmuseum in Frankfurt as well as from the Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann and further private collections, sheds light on one of the most innovative and unconventional artists of all time. The range of those who have explored Rembrandt in defining their own self-portrait extends from immediate successors and masters of the eighteenth century to contemporary artists. Among them we find artists such as Benedetto Castiglione (1609–1664), Jonathan Richardson (1667–1745), Christian W. E. Dietrich (1712–1774), Francisco de Goya (1746–1828), Lovis Corinth (1858–1925), Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), Max Beckmann (1884–1950), Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), A.R. Penck (1929–2017), Gerhard Altenbourg (1926–1989), Marlene Dumas (b. 1953) and William Kentridge (b. 1955).

Rembrandt remains timelessly captivating due to his radicality in selecting Christian and secular pictorial subjects, and in his unconventional interpretation of them. No less captivating is his pronounced love of experimentation—especially in the use of drawing and printing techniques—as well as his intellect, which is marked by reflection and humour. With a light touch, he throws off all conventions, almost playful yet wildly energetic. His dynamic, unmistakable mark creates pictorial worlds in which an altogether boundless interest in nature reveals itself. The mark he makes is also the utterly unique signature that he leaves behind. At the same time this mark is synonymous with his distinct creativity and thus with his personality. Finally, Rembrandt’s mark is also the mark he left on art history, the footprint of his artistic work that can be followed.

The exhibition Rembrandt’s Mark is curated by Stephanie Buck with Mailena Mallach.

At the occasion of the exhibition, an extensively illustrated catalogue in German and English will be published by Paul Holberton Publishing.

Rembrandt’s Mark is under the auspices of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Germany, his Excellency Wepke Kingma.

This exhibition is made possible thanks to the support of the International Music and Art Foundation in Liechtenstein, the Tavolozza Foundation in Munich, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Verein der Freunde des Kupferstich-Kabinetts Dresden e. V. as well as various private donors.