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Rembrandt and the nude

Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00 | Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays: 12:00 - 17:00
Closed 24th December to 27th December 2021 and 31st December 2021 to 1st January 2022 inclusive closed Gallery closures and collection updates

This exhibition is now in our archive.

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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