Source: Ismail Noor//Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi has acquired a rare oil sketch by celebrated Dutch artist, Rembrandt Van Rijn, to be exhibited in the museum.
Called "Head of a young man, with clasped hands: Study of the figure of Christ, ca. 1648-56", it belongs to a series of oil sketches referred to as Rembrandt’s Face of Jesus group. The work was purchased in December by the Louvre Abu Dhabi for an undisclosed sum.
The painting is the first work of Rembrandt, which has been acquired for a public collection in the Gulf region. The sketch has appeared in exhibitions at the Musée du Louvre, Paris; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Detroit Institute of Art; and Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam.
It will make its first appearance at Louvre Abu Dhabi in the exhibition Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre before joining Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection.
Rembrandt’s masterpiece is representative of the Dutch Golden Age when the newly independent Dutch merchant state was regarded the most prosperous in Europe. During this period art flourished in the region, bringing artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer to the fore.
“Rembrandt is one of the most prominent figures in Western art history and this acquisition yet again highlights the remarkable quality of both the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection and its exhibitions program,” says Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
Head of a young man is one of the finest examples of Rembrandt’s seven surviving oil sketches from the Face of Jesus group. When viewed with the other surviving sketches, it reveals the way in which Rembrandt could find the best angle or profile to use light to portray Jesus “after life,” with the model probably coming from the local Jewish community.