Title Image: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606-1669 the three trees (only state) 1643. Etching, engraving and drypoint on paper. 21.1 x 28 cm. © Norfolk Museums Service
When we think of Rembrandt, before anything we perhaps conjure an image of a glorious yet dark Old Masters painting: slick oil on canvas, stunning brush work, moody light and shade - expertly capturing the imperfections of wizened old faces.
Rembrandt’s art was full of passion and curiosity and his works varied immensely, including paintings from history, portraits, self-portraits, landscapes and animals. But, interestingly, it is a lesser known fact these days that during Rembrandt’s lifetime he was almost – in fact definitely in Britain – better known for his intricate etchings.
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery has five wonderful galleries with an impressive collection of art, but behind the scenes Norfolk Museum Service owns far more than is on view to the public. In 1951 a London art dealer by the name of Percy Moore Turner bequeathed his collection of 93 Rembrandt etchings to Norwich Castle. Turner had spent some of his life in Norwich which included work with the castle in the 1920s and 30s. Turner was a passionate believer that the general public should have access to great art through museums – a belief which we certainly still feel the legacy of today.
The Museum Services collection of Rembrandt etchings is probably the 4th most important collection in the country so it’s great news (not only for art lovers and those in interested in history) that from Saturday 21 October 2017 until Sunday 7 January 2018, Norwich Castle will be showcasing their compelling prints of internationally revered Dutch Master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.
This is the first time Norwich Castle’s collection of Rembrandt etchings has been presented as a group for more than thirty years, so this exhibition is a truly special one. It will highlight this less well known aspect of Rembrant’s practice, comparing the artist’s prints with a carefully curated group of paintings and drawings, to show how physical and metaphorical light and darkness meet and combine in Rembrandt's work across all media. Alongside Norwich Castle’s own collection of 93 extraordinary prints, the exhibition will also feature selected loans from the National Gallery, the Royal Collection, the British Museum and the National Galleries of Scotland.
We cannot wait to see this exhibition, and whilst we’re at the Castle we’ll also be making sure we catch other artworks in the galleries, which includes collections from The Norwich School (for those in the know: John Crome, John Sell Cotman, Joseph Stannard and George Vincent), the soaring oil on canvas of the Tower of Babel by Tobias Verhaecht and the magnificent 17th century painting ‘The Paston Treasure’, commissioned by Sir Robert Paston in the mid 1670s depicting objects from the family’s extravagant collection.
We’ll also make time to see Magritte’s La Condition Humaine – but that’s another story!
Tickets to the exhibition are £6.00 for Adults, £4.80 for Children and £5.70 Concession. You can also take advantage of the Castle’s ‘Pop in for £2’ tickets: one hour tickets available everyday (for £2, no less), one hour before closing and between 12 noon & 1pm Monday to Friday, during school terms. Last entry at 4.30 pm.
Make a weekend of it! Take a peek at the quirky Gothic House B&B (rooms from £95 per night), Number 17 (a listed former sign writers shop, rooms from £80 per night B&B) or firm Norwich favourite Wedgewood House B&B (rooms from £80 per night).
Want to eat? We adore sweet treats and steaming coffee at Louis’ Deli, The Britons Arms and Cupcakes & Bubbles and lunch at The Giggling Squid, Bill’s, Cote or Namaste India!
Greater Anglia has Advance fares from £10 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.
To plan a trip to Norwich check out our website www.visitnorwich.co.uk