2004.05.08

Rembrandt’s journey

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20040508.02.jpg

“The Three Crosses,” by Rembrandt

Another lovely exhibition at the Art Institute, this one focused on the engravings and print work of Rembrandt van Rijn. Though he’s justly known for his magnificent oil portraits, his etchings are just as wonderful and make up a significant portion of his output. Particularly affecting: The Three Crosses, of course — a vision of the crucifixion in all its grandness and mystery — but also small studies of sleeping puppies, and intimate sketches of his dying wife Saskia.

That’s not to say there weren’t oils. There were, only a few but enough. I love oil paints, because they’re process preserved — you can see every trail of the palette knife, stroke of the brush — and basking in the presence of a Rembrandt oil is something like seeing the artist at work. You just can’t get that from a poster or web gallery!

I remember thinking similar thoughts while viewing the unfinished skin of Michelangelo’s David/Apollo, also at the Art Institute. How I long to see the Pietà in Rome!


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\"The Three Crosses,\" by Rembrandt
\n\n

\n\nAnother lovely exhibition at the Art Institute, this one focused on the engravings and print work of Rembrandt van Rijn. Though he's justly known for his magnificent oil portraits, his etchings are just as wonderful and make up a significant portion of his output. Particularly affecting: The Three Crosses, of course -- a vision of the crucifixion in all its grandness and mystery -- but also small studies of sleeping puppies, and intimate sketches of his dying wife Saskia.\n\nThat's not to say there weren't oils. There were, only a few but enough. I love oil paints, because they're process preserved -- you can see every trail of the palette knife, stroke of the brush -- and basking in the presence of a Rembrandt oil is something like seeing the artist at work. You just can't get that from a poster or web gallery!\n\nI remember thinking similar thoughts while viewing the unfinished skin of Michelangelo's David/Apollo, also at the Art Institute. How I long to see the Pietà in Rome!\n\n

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