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Art Diary

Painted Presence: Rembrandt and his Peers

9 February 2024

Rembrandt had busy workshops in Leiden and Amsterdam where he would train students and assistants. The collaborative element of the painter’s method is the main focus of this exhibition, which displays seven Rembrandt portraits and tronies – never before hung together – alongside a selection of works by Rembrandt’s friends, including Jan Lievens; lesser-known contemporaries such as Abraham Susenier and Jacob van Campen; and 18th-century acolytes, as well as paintings that emerged from Rembrandt’s studio. The paintings mostly date from between 1640 and 1670, and highlights include Rembrandt’s brooding Head of a Man in a Turban (c. 1661), Lievens’ ghostly profile of an elderly woman, probably Rembrandt’s mother, and a selection of interiors and still lifes. The exhibition, which includes works from the gallery’s permanent collection as well as loans from Queen’s University in Ontario, provides welcome context to the life and work of the greatest Dutch Golden Age painter of them all. Find out more from the Art Gallery of Ontario’s website.

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Head of a Man in a Turban (Study for a Rabbi) (c. 1661), Rembrandt. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Ontario. Photo: Paul Litherland

Profile Head of an Old Woman (‘Rembrandt’s Mother’) (c. 1630), Jan Lievens. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Ontario

The Artist’s Studio (c. 1710–15), Arent de Gelder. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Ontario