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12 Days

4 January 2014

For each of the 12 days of Christmas we have asked Apollo staff and contributors to select the artistic highlights that they are most eagerly anticipating in 2014. The Muse Room will return with its regular daily blogs on 7 January 2014. From all of us at Apollo, happy new year!

(1669), Rembrandt

Self Portrait at the Age of 63 (1669), Rembrandt © The National Gallery, London

A real treat is promised in ‘Rembrandt: The Final Years’, at the National Gallery in London (15 October 2014–18 January 2015). While curators are being coy about precisely which works will feature among the 40 paintings, 20 drawings and 30 prints included, the collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam would suggest that the peerless Jewish Bride must take pride of place. Rembrandt is one of those rare artists who really does go from strength to strength as he grows older and – rarer still – one whose works on paper can more than hold their own in the company of his paintings. The tragedies of his final years only seem to have inspired him to new heights of technical brilliance and profundity, enabling him to create a dark but uplifting visual language of overwhelming emotional power.

‘Rembrandt: The Final Years’ is at the National Gallery in London from 15 October 2014–18 January 2015, and at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam from 12 February–17 May 2015.