Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum is opening an exhibit Sunday featuring the authentic works Rembrandt van Rijn. The Wadsworth for years displayed three portraits believed to be by Rembrandt, but those works were discredited.
"Rembrandt's People" includes seven featured works of the 17th century Dutch master, including an iconic self-portrait on loan from the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
"We haven't had an authentic Rembrandt in Hartford, probably since the 1940s," said exhibition curator Eric Zafran. The paintings span most of Rembrandt's career, from a commissioned work in 1635 of a distant relative to a study of a young Jewish man in 1663. "He really was very democratic in the nature of his painting. He painted fancy people for commissions, but also painted ordinary people." Aside from the portraits on loan, others hail from galleries in Texas, Canada and New York.
"Rembrandt's People" will also include two of the paintings the museum originally thought were Rembrandt's: one thought to be a portrait of Rembrandt's son, Titus. The other, resembling his wife, Saskia. The exhibition will also feature a cell phone tour, where patrons can use their cell phones and dial numbers that correspond to each painting. The subject of that painting will then explain the connection to Rembrandt and the history of the art work. Arthur Wheelock, a Rembrandt expert and curator with the National Gallery of Art, will offer a lecture Nov. 12 and on Nov. 28, a free family program will kick off where children can see the paintings, learn about portraiture and end up in the Atheneum's studio, creating a portrait.
Admission to "Rembrandt's People" is free with a paid admission to the museum. The exhibit runs through Jan. 24.