Rembrandt@350 exhibition will be hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Zimbabwe, and the National Galleries in Harare and Bulawayo.
This year marks 350 years since the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, the most famous artist from the Golden Age.
I am very excited to be submitting works for this show, inspired by the superb draughtsmanship of Rembrandt, his timeless mastery of elemental emotion with simple sketches…such as his brush and ink sketch ” Woman Sleeping”:
Artists select a Rembrandt work of their choice and recreate or interpret it in their own style and medium. Considerations for the local context and modern day might also be factored in. Local and Dutch judges will select entries for display alongside prints of the Rembrandt pieces being recreated.
Also on display for the opening night in Harare will be the six original Rembrandt etchings held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe!
• Opening Night Harare: 24 October for a three week showing
• Opening Night Bulawayo: 25 November for a three week showing
I consider Rembrandt to be one of the masters of drawing people from life, capturing the essence of his subject intimately- such as his sketch “Woman Sleeping”, probably his subject being his life partner Hendrickje Stoffels.
Rembrandt’s ink and brush drawing is both affectionate and yet not a precise likeness of the sitter. Created in about 1654, it is yet timeless and throughly relevant in a modern context.
The study is drawn with brush, in brown wash with some white bodycolour. This technique is appeals to my eye, reminding me of minimalist oriental brushwork.
With only a few broad strokes, Rembrandt has superbly outlined the body of the sleeping woman. The white of the paper helps to create her form and is a vital part of the composition.
To me the essence of a great sketch is in being able to say so much with very few, well considered brushstrokes or pen lines… to “say more with less”!!!
I have tried to re-create the mood and composition of Rembrandt’s original with brush and acrylic, giving the subject an African context by using as my model a young Shangaan (changana) woman sleeping on her large cowhide drum, after I had watched her drumming for her energetic dance troupe at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. The Changana culture of dance and drumming is strong here in the Greater Transfrontier Conservation Area of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. (GLTFCA)
So one of my submissions is “Woman Sleeping”, 2019, Ode to Rembrandt, by Lin Barrie, acrylic on deep stretched canvas, 61 x 40.5 cm:
The original “Recumbent Lion” drawing by Rembrandt is my inspiration for my second painting, in terms of its timeless depiction of a male lion, capturing the ‘essence” of lion admirably…obviously drawn from real life, he probably drew a lion that he had access to in a zoo…
Here is Rembrandt’s original sketch:
The original is executed with pen and brown ink on brown paper, height 12.2 cm x 21.2 cm
This superb Rembrandt sketch talks, no, SINGS to me, since, living as I do with wildlife in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, I have a passion for sketching animals in the wild, capturing the feelings, the movements and emotions of the living creature….!
I have been observing lions regularly at my bush house, and they call around us most nights. I have also observed lions at great length in the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, such as this magnificent boy, one of two brothers whom we spent hours with on a camping trip…
So, with lions close to my heart, I have recreated the feeling of Rembrandt’s sketch by using my palette knife as a ‘pen’ and brown acrylic paint. Extra detail has been done with a brush…
Thank you Embassy of the Netherlands in Zimbabwe, Doreen Sibanda, Chinovava Chikukwa, and Valerie Sithole all of The National Gallery, for this inspired forthcoming exhibition!