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Rembrandt and the nude

Museums and galleries in Cambridge will be closed to the public as part of a period of national/local restrictions.

Rembrandt made etchings of female nudes during two distinct periods of his career: in the 1630s, and two decades later. He depicted his models naturalistically, naar ‘t leven (‘from life’), in informal poses, concentrating on the sensuousness of their flesh rather than on the idealised female body. From shortly after Rembrandt’s death up until the mid-twentieth century, this unidealised treatment was fiercely attacked by critics, who used words such as ‘intolerable’, ‘ill-shaped’ and ‘monstrous’ to describe his departure from the classical norms of beauty. This exhibition challenges this view, drawing attention to the beauty and power of Rembrandt’s treatment of the female form.

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