To mark the first decade of Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Europe, the Church-owned school is exhibiting a selection of prints by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.
Rembrandt’s Amsterdam is on display at the school’s Museum of Art, offering visitors a glimpse of 17th-century Dutch life. The artist was skilled at being able to capture the day-to-day lives of common, working-class residents of the great Dutch city. He embraced the dignity found in the regular lives of his fellow Dutchmen and women.
“Rembrandt always painted people just as common people,” said curator Dawn Pheysey in a museum release. “He didn’t idealize his figures. They often weren’t very beautiful, but they were human. He was never condemning of people or their plights in life resulting from poor choices. He was always sympathetic to people and their circumstances.”
The artist was fortunate to live in Amsterdam when it was the richest city in the world. Such prosperity spawned a thriving, highly literate middle class who could afford—and appreciate—fine art, according to the museum. The print market was accessible to many in the city, and Rembrandt had the savvy to produce such prints... more