December 2014 – Like the aforementioned Matisse exhibition, Rembrandt: The Late Works focuses on the final phase of the artist’s life. Although 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) enjoyed fairly early fame as a portrait painter, it was the last 2 decades of the artist’s life which perhaps best defined his career; a period marked by both personal and financial struggles. Self Portrait at the Age of 63, one of dozens of self portraits completed by the artist throughout his lifetime, was produced during the final year of Rembrandt’s life. Another of Rembrandt’s most famous works, The Jewish Bride, was also completed the same year he died.
The final decade or so of the artist’s life is the period in which his painting style became most distinct. Rembrandt was perhaps best known for his ability to capture shadow and light; notably, his use of white seemed to increase with his age. In addition, Rembrandt produced a number of etchings from 1650-1669, a lifelong skill which developed his eventual reputation as a skilled print maker. Rembrandt: The Late Works is currently on view at The National Gallery, London through January 18, 2015. Contact nationalgallery.org.uk for more info.