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Rembrandt @ Sakip Sabanci Museum

Posted on 10 June 2012

Portrait of Haesje Jocobsdr van Cleyburg. Rembrandt. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The wonderful exhibition “Where Darkness Meets Light… Rembrandt and His Contemporaries – The Golden Age of Dutch Art” has been extended to June 17! This is your last chance to see these fantastic works of art in Istanbul! Go and enjoy!

On the occasion of the celebration of 400 years of diplomatic and trade relations between the Netherlands and Turkey the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul hosts a major exhibition of Rembrandt and his contemporaries.
It is the first time that these paintings, etchings and drawings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Lievens and other Dutch masters from the Golden Age will be shown in Turkey.

Highlights are five paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer’s ‘Love Letter’.

In the exhibition there are 110 works on display from the national Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: 73 paintings, 19 drawings and etchings, as well as 18 other works of art.

The exhibition highlights the richness and versatility of the 17th-century Dutch art and history. A selection of 110 paintings, drawings, prints and decorative arts objects (rugs, pottery, silver and glass) tell the story of the power and beauty of the young Republic in the Golden Age.

Landscapes by Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael and Cuyp Aelbert. Still Lifes by Pieter Claesz and Adriaen Coorte. Genre pieces of Gerard ter Borch, Gabriel Metsu and Pieter de Hooch. And popular scenes of Jan Steen and Adriaen van Ostade.

Highlights from the exhibition ‘The Love Letter’ by Johannes Vermeer in (1669-1670) and five paintings of Rembrandt: Portrait of Haesje of Cleyburgh (1634), The Peacocks (1639), Portrait of Dr. Ephraim Bueno (1645-1647), The Music Allegory (1626), and Joseph explains his dreams (1633).

“With this exhibition we want to show how the novelty of Dutch art influenced European art, the master technique of light use, as well as providing a broad framework tackling the atmosphere of the period and its reflections on art”, says Dr. Nazan Ölçer, Director of the Sabanci Museum. “The exhibition shows a number of themes pertaining to the Dutch society, as well as urban and rural life in 17th century Dutch Republic through the eyes of the masters of painting.”
The Director of the Collections of the Rijksmuseum, Taco Dibbits, said the exhibition in Istanbul “is a once in a life time opportunity”. The artworks are traveling because the Rijksmuseum is being renovated and until the spring of 2013 closed.

“Another feature of the exhibition is the dialogue of the paintings with the Ottoman period, and embracing both countries’ art scene correlatively”, says Dibbits. He mentioned in particular the famous “Dutch” tulips, which 400 years ago were brought from Turkey to the Netherlands, the Ottoman merchants who are seen on on Dam Square in Amsterdam on one of the paintings.

The Music Allegory (1626). Rembrandt. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Remarkable are the garments of the figures in Rembrandt’s painting “The Music Allegory” (1626). The old man and young woman dressed as Turks – with a turban and robes of oriental fabrics – and the old woman also has an Oriental scarf. Rembrandt was only 20 years old. Characteristic of his early work are the bright colors in this allegorical painting.

Jan Lievens also liked to portray Oriental heads. As a rule they were not real people from the East, but exotic dressed acquaintances of the artist, mostly older men with characteristic heads. It seems likely that this interest in other cultures was fuelled by the boom in intercontinental trade. It has even been suggested that the visit to the Republic in 1625-27 by the Persian ambassador Musa Beg was a factor in this.

In this exhibition there is a charming portrait of a boy in an Oriental dress by Jan Lievens. The boy wears a yellow tunic under a cape of gleaming orange fabric fastened with a golden chain. A sash around his waist and a turban with a feather complete the outfit. “Boy in a Cape and a Turban” (1631).

The exhibition opened on 22 February and lasts until 17 June at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul.



Sakip Sabanci Museum

Sakip Sabanci Caddesi 42

Past the second Bosporus bridge


Tel. (0212) 277 2200



2 responses to “Rembrandt @ Sakip Sabanci Museum”

  1. Hmm, this one sounds tempting. We visited the Rodin exhibition at Sakip Sabanci university a few years back and it was special. Might have to try and make the journey up to Istanbul for this one.

  2. Hi there mates, goοd paragraplh and good arguments commented
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