Rembrandt At The Denver Art Museum


The Denver Art Museum is offering a once in a lifetime chance for you to see prints and paintings made by Rembrandt Van Rijn.

The head curator, Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director, Denver Art Museum offered a tour of the new exhibit, “Rembrandt – Painter as Printmaker,” for the press, and we talked before we went into the exhibit.

Heinrich talked about where the prints and paintings came from before they were in Denver. They mostly came from Paris.

The curator who then led us through the gallery was Timothy J. Standring, Gates Family Foundation Curator, Denver Art Museum. He explained all of the prints and paintings.

He also explained how the printing process worked. I found it very enlightening to learn  how they worked: To make a print, you had to take a clean copper plate and carve into it what you wanted, with an acid-resistant needle.

Finally, you soaked it in an acid bath which eats away at the metal that was not carved, making deeper grooves.

There are also different kinds of carving. There is etching, drypoint, and engraving. The engraving is very smooth with few jagged edges, while the drypoint was rough and had lots of edges. The etching was somewhere in between.

When Rembrandt was not doing prints, he did paintings. Mostly, they were self portraits but a few were about things he observed in his surroundings.

One of my favorites presented a man begging for money with a peg leg. The thing was, he had both his legs.

Some of the other paintings you have to look very closely at because there are hidden things. In one, a woman was teaching a child to walk in the background. I never would have noticed it if our curator hadn’t pointed it out.

Another thing about his paintings that was interesting was that he used styluses. His most famous painting is called “The Circumcision”.

This exhibit is at the Denver Art Museum through January 6 and is available to people under age 18 for free any day of the week. Docents will be there to discuss any questions you have or explain things.

I would definitely recommend going to this exhibit, especially if you like art or Rembrandt, because it is really cool to see how they “took pictures” in that time period.