Drawing largely from the collection of works on paper in the Fine Arts Museums’ Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, this exhibition examines a wide range of artworks from the 17th century.
“Rembrandt’s Century” sheds light on a fascinating roster of artistic personalities, both famous and forgotten, of the late Mannerist and Baroque eras. At its core is a selection of etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn — arguably his generation’s most influential artist.
The exhibition explores Rembrandt’s predecessors and his impact on followers both in Holland and internationally as it explores the print culture of the era, focusing on representations of artists and their world, portraiture, natural history, scenes of daily life, landscape and subjects drawn from mythology and religion.
Works by painter-printmakers such as Adriaen van Ostade, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, and Jusepe de Ribera are balanced against contributions by specialized graphic artists such as Jacques Callot, Wenceslaus Hollar and Lambert Doomer.
Virtuosic engravings, ambient etchings, ink drawing, watercolors and more illustrate the enormous range and appeal of printmaking and drawing techniques in the time of Rembrandt.
Rembrandt was both a teacher and a student. While his work was among the most vigorously collected during this period, he too was a collector. Like the sea shells and other natural wonders he collected, depictions of which are shared in this exhibition, Rembrandt collected knowledge, which he disseminated to his students and followers.
Championing etching as an original form of artistic expression, and technically experimenting with each stage of the etching process, Rembrandt inspired artists around the world for generations to come.
Rembrandt’s Century provides an opportunity for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts to present hidden treasures from its own collection, a number of which have never before been displayed.
Beginning as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Moore Achenbach given to the city of San Francisco in 1948, the Achenbach Foundation has grown to be the most comprehensive collection of works on paper in the western United States. Carefully selected primarily from this collection, in complement to “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, “Rembrandt’s Century” reveals the astounding and wide-ranging artistic excellence of the 17th century.
This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, “Rembrandt’s Century,” published by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and DelMonico Books Prestel. Author and curator James Ganz explores the era’s vibrant print culture in a series of thematic sections focusing on depictions of the artist, portraiture, natural history, daily life, landscape, mythology and religion, and the art of darkness.
In the process, he sheds light on the rich holdings of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s world-renowned collection of graphic arts. The catalogue is 164 pages, hardcover and costs $34.95 and $31.46 for members and is available at the museum stores or online at famsf.org/store.
Tickets can be purchased on the de Young’s Website deyoungmuseum.org. Reservations for group tickets are available at email@example.com. All online tickets include a $1 handling charge.