Museum Home Past Exhibitions Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits

June 7–August 28, 2005 at the Getty Center

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Browse reactions of other viewers below. These reactions were submitted to this site between June 7 and August 28, 2005. The site is now closed to new reactions. The opinions presented here may have been edited and do not reflect the opinions of the Getty.

Posted on 08/23/05 by Nancy R.Taylor, Northridge, CA
I did attend Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits, and I wanted to go twice. Family plans made it impossible, but I found this Web site. It is wonderful. I especially appreciate the feature of "zooming in" on parts of the paintings for better detail. I have also looked up some past exhibitions I was unable to attend. Thank you.

Posted on 08/15/05 by Karelia Fleites, Bellflower, CA
My husband and I are very thankful to the people and organizations that made it possible for people like us to see this collection. It was very emotional for us to see paintings made by a genius.

Posted on 08/10/05 by Sandy England, Yerington, Nevada
I had so wanted to visit the Rembrandt show, but due to the recent illnesses of both my son and my mother, I am not able to afford the trip I had planned. Thank you for the online exhibit!

Posted on 08/09/05 by Kelly Soifer, Santa Barbara, CA
I enjoyed the accessibility of the art, and the descriptions in the brochure were also quite helpful. The presentation was tremendous—the lighting really served the artwork. Then i came home and realized how much was available on the Web site, and got to enjoy it all over again. Thank you so much for such a gift to the public!

Posted on 07/29/05 by Karina Kravchik, San Francisco, CA
I really liked the online version of the Rembrandt exhibit. I can never see pieces that close up front, and I was so happy that I could online. Thank you very much for investing in such online projects.

Posted on 07/12/05 by Xavier P., Los Angeles, CA
When I perused the Web site, I couldn't stop myself from attempting to compare these portraits to persons whom I have met either here or abroad. I was transported to a time where someone's memory and style of painting means so much more than what an instamatic can render. I have been truly moved by the online collection, and plan to visit the museum to see this firsthand. What made me pause was the Virgin Mary of Sorrows; she captures both a feeling of empathy and of comfort, not just for the ones who have passed but the for the living also. Thank you.

Posted on 07/10/05 by Mr. M. Dunsky, Montreal, Canada
My sincere compliments to the Getty Museum, where I frequently visit online. Regarding the Rembrandt exhibit, I must say that seeing all of those portraits again gave me immense pleasure. One quibble: Almost all of the portraits were of Christian saints; not one of them was of the many Jews whom Rembrandt painted.

Posted on 07/08/05 by JG McIlwain, Los Angeles, CA
Beautiful works, but the didactic labelling was a tad weak. I was surprised that there was almost no mention of the fact that in the context of protestant Holland—which divided from Catholic Flanders starting in the 17th century—images were eliminated from churches and worship. In fact, there were somewhat violent incidents of "iconoclasm" or the destruction of religious images, by Protestants in churches in Holland from this time. Subsequently, churches were also whitewashed. (See Dutch painter Saenredam's church interiors, for example.)

The Protestant church feared that images would be revered as actual incarnations of those saints and holy figures depicted—"idolatry"—so banned them from worship. Rembrandt sought to create images of religious and biblical figures that could be read as storytelling or inspirational images for the home, for example, without offending the Protestant church. Incidentally, one of Rembrandt's parents was Catholic, the other Protestant.

Finally, if portrait #15 is an authentic Rembrandt, I will eat my hat. By the 1660s, Rembrandt had developed his looser style of painting, use of impasto (thick, worked paint), and more dramatic spotlighting to establish the compositional focus of a work, than this painting which appears to imitate earlier, more polished canvases. A visual comparison of this work with another "school of Rembrandt" work would almost seem to indicate that they are by the same counterfeit hand, and represent a very similar sitter.

Posted on 06/22/05 by Sy Taft, Denver, CO
As a very young artist at the age of 16, I study art and its many forms, but I have never experienced art with such deep emotion up close. When I stood there listening to the headphones tell me about each piece, I couldn't pay attention! Rembrandt had created so much emotion for me that I had to look at each piece from every angle and look at every brush stroke that told one story after another. I cried my heart out when I viewed The Virgin of Sorrows and felt her burden the way he captured it and showed that specific emotion with the tone and lighting he used to show her pain. His pieces may hold a strong religious point for many, but as an artist I think he digs deeper and shows what these people's souls really felt like and gives us an understanding of raw human emotion.

Posted on 06/20/05 by Robert Mullenger, Mountain View, CA
These works by Rembrandt are truly moving. The text and audio provided by the Getty give further insight to the thoughts and emotions they conjure within me. I am thankful that I can experience this 300 miles away, when traveling to the Getty isn't always possible.

Posted on 06/09/05 by John Paul Thornton, Burbank, CA
As an artist, I was stricken with awe by these paintings. Truthfully, by the third portrait I found my eyes welling up with tears. I laughed at this reaction, but as I moved along, the tears continued. Nothing is superficial, nothing is decorative. They resonate like deep music. They are the visual equivalent of hearing the prayers of Tibetan monks. Thank you, Rembrandt. Thank you, Getty.

Posted on 06/07/05 by Richard H., Los Angeles, CA
While any exhibition of Rembrandt's works evokes the deeply held religious views of the painter, it is nonetheless quite appalling to read the curator's descriptions which include such statements as "reveals the power of the Christian faith to those struggling with their own human limitations" (Self-Portrait as the Apostle Paul). This comment is not given in the context of what Rembrandt himself believed but as an instruction to the viewer. As such, it is arrogant and completely insulting, and unfortunately detracts from an otherwise very commendable Web site exhibition.

Posted on 06/04/05 by Klutch + Kate, Los Angeles, CA
Looking forward to this show! Great to have paintings from various collections united. We highly recomend the Rembrandt handheld guides when you come see the exhibit.

Posted on 05/31/05 by Marie C., West Hollywood, CA
Wow! This Web site is pretty cool, I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibition when it opens.


Monk / Rembrandt