Early Rembrandts to show at Kenwood House this month
PUBLISHED: 06:39 02 October 2014
Two early works by Rembrandt go on display at Kenwood House this month thanks to reciprocal loans by The National Gallery and Rijksmuseum. Visitors to the Grade I-listed house on Hampstead Heath can see two works by the Dutch master, both dating from around 1630.
Anna and the Blind Tobit is on loan from The National gallery while Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem is borrowed from the renowned Amsterdam museum.
In return, Kenwood’s own Rembrandt; Portrait of the Artist will be included in temporary displays at both museums, helping new audiences to see the masterpiece. Anna and the Blind Tobit depicts the story of Anna, her husband Tobit and their son Tobias, which is told in the apocryphal Book of Tobit. God tested them by reducing them to poverty and causing Tobit’s blindness. In the 17th century they were considered to be examples of piety in adversity.
The painting was engraved as the work of Rembrandt during his lifetime, and although it was later argued that its meticulous detail suggested it was the hand of Rembrandt’s pupil Gerard Dou, recent comparisons have made it clear that the painting is an authentic work by the master.
Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem shows the biblical prophet Jeremiah downcast and leaning his tired head on his hand.
He mourns the burning city of Jerusalem whose destruction he had predicted. The figure of Jeremiah is painted with great precision, while his surroundings use powerful contrasts of light and shadow to heighten the drama of the scene.
Kenwood is famous for its world-class art collection including a Vermeer, a Turner, two Van Dycks and Gainsboroughs, Reynolds and Romneys, thanks to a bequest by Lord Iveagh in 1927 which left Kenwood and its collection to the nation.
Following an extensive restoration and representation project last November, these famous paintings were all rehung so they can be seen to their best advantage - free of charge.