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Second Rembrandt donated to Queen’s University gallery


The Agnes Etherington Art Centre announces the acquisition of its second painting by the celebrated 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669).

With this gift of both paintings by Drs Alfred and Isabel Bader of Milwaukee from their outstanding private collection of Dutch art, the Queen’s University gallery now holds two of Canada’s six Rembrandts.

Head of a Man in a Turban, in Profile is a small oil on panel depicting an elderly man in richly coloured biblical dress. Dating around 1661 towards the end of Rembrandt’s long career, its composition is linked to a painting in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Circumcision, and may have been a figure study for it. It embodies all the hallmarks of the artist’s late style, evoking light, form and emotion with a few bravura strokes.

This remarkable new gift, with a value of $16 million (US), joins an earlier donation by the Baders of a Rembrandt to the Art Centre, Head of an Old Man in a Cap. Painted around 1630 when the artist was not yet 25, it shares the same subject as Head of a Man in a Turban, in Profile. Both demonstrate the profound psychological insights into the human condition for which Rembrandt would become celebrated in his lifetime and in the centuries to come. Through them, the viewer also glimpses the astounding stylistic evolution of one of the greatest artistic geniuses in the European tradition.

The painting will be officially unveiled to the public on September 27.

“This is an outstanding way to celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary of our Art Centre,” says Principal Karen Hitchcock. “We are deeply grateful to the Baders for this extraordinary gift, and honoured to be given the privilege of sharing this great work of art with the Kingston community and with all Canadians.”

Both Rembrandts join over one hundred European paintings already given by the Baders over the past three and a half decades, making the Agnes Etherington Art Centre a leading public gallery in Canada in the research and presentation of Old Master painting. They are included in An Enduring Passion, an exhibition celebrating highlights of the Bader Collection, on view until 6 January 2008.

“The Baders’ remarkable donation this year crowns a collection that continues to grow,” says Art Centre Director Janet M. Brooke. “Through it, the Art Centre plays an international role in the study and exhibition of European art, bringing paintings of great beauty and meaning to Queen’s, to our community, and to the world.”


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