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  • Rembrandt: The Quest for Chiaroscuro
  • Saturday 12 March 2011 – Sunday 12 June 2011
  • Venue: Special Exhibition Galleries,NMWA

    Organized by: The National Museum of Western Art, Nippon Television Network Corporation, The Yomiuri Shimbun

    With support of: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Special sponsor: KINOSHITA Co., Ltd.

    sponsor: Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., NIPPONKOA INSURANCE CO., LTD.

    In cooperation with: Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd., JAPAN AIRLINES, Nippon Express Co., Ltd., East Japan Railway Company, BS Nippon Corporation, CS Nippon Corporation, RF RADIO NIPPON CO., LTD., J-WAVE, INC., Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, Inc., Television Kanagawa Inc., The Western Art Foundation

    Number of visitors: 263,419.

Prints and Paintings: Expression of Light and Dark by a Genius
As implied by his nickname, the “Master of Light and Shadow,” Rembrandt was a painter who repeatedly addressed the theme of light and the expression of shadows and darkness. And yet, possibly because this nickname became so widespread, people have had a difficult time understanding the truly revolutionary nature of his experiments with this light and dark expression. This exhibition focuses on three themes, “black prints,” “light colored paper” and “chiaroscuro.” The exhibition begins with a discussion of the Japanese washi paper that Rembrandt began to use for his prints around 1647. Why did Rembrandt use this paper? What relationship was there between the use of this paper and the different states of prints created? In other words, why did Rembrandt repeat the depiction of night scenes and darkness, over and over again? How did he depict direct light and reflected light? What was the role played by light and shadow in the composition of his narratives? This exhibition is a re-examination of the true meaning of “light and shadow” in Rembrandt’s paintings and prints, as seen through the layering and juxtaposition of these various issues. The exhibition also features a small number of his paintings and drawings that are closely related to his prints, as a means of confirming all the more clearly how he experimented with the light and dark expression seen in his prints, but here in the context of full color paintings. It is our hope that this exhibition featuring Rembrandt’s use of Japanese papers for his prints will further disseminate information on this crucial aspect of Japanese-Dutch interaction in the Age of Rembrandt.

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