Some of the most famous artists of the Dutch Golden Age will be on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi as part of its first international exhibition of 2019.
The exhibition, ‘Rembrandt, Vermeer and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musee du Louvre’, will run from February 14 to May 18 and feature paintings and drawings by the two named Dutch masters, as well as their contemporaries.
Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manuel Rabate, said: “As Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first international exhibition of the year and part of our 2018-19 cultural season ‘A World of Exchanges’, the exhibition underscores the connections between artists that, no doubt, made this period ‘golden’.
“This is the very first time a blockbuster exhibition of the Dutch masters comes to the UAE and it is extremely special that two Vermeer paintings from the same piece of canvas are hung next to each other for the first time in 300 years. I would like to thank our partners, the Musee du Louvre and The Leiden Collection, for making it possible.”
The exhibition will retrace Rembrandt’s artistic journey in Leiden and Amsterdam and his relationships with rivals and peers including Johannes Vermeer, Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Carel Fabritius, Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris and Frans Hals.
The show will also explore the artistic traditions that flourished in Leiden and wider Netherlands during this period. During the Golden Age, the Dutch Republic became a world leader in trade, science, and the arts, known for its cultural exchange, exploration and discovery.
Some 22 Rembrandt paintings and drawings will be included among the exhibition’s 95 artworks, as will Vermeer’s ‘Young Woman Seated at a Virginal’ and ‘The Lacemaker’ – the two paintings Rabate explained will be hung together for the first time in 300 years.
The exhibition is curated by Blaise Ducos, chief curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musee du Louvre, and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, curator of The Leiden Collection and a specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The very inception and early success of Louvre Abu Dhabi was founded on our close friendship with France and our multi-layered partnerships with global museums and art institutions.
“In 2019, the UAE is celebrating the Year of Tolerance, which is testament to our long standing tradition of nurturing a culture of openness and exchange. The exhibition illustrates not only the importance of cross border cultural collaborations, but also how artistic creativity has always been at the heart of great historic moments.”