Rembrandt website gets an overhaul

Rembrandt website gets an overhaul
Rembrandt, 'Rembrandt Laughing', c. 1628. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
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This year marks the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death in 1669. To commemorate the milestone, the Getty Museum has announced the relaunch of a website that offers high resolution images of 14 of the Dutch Old Master paintings that all belong to collections in southern California. Titled Rembrandt in Southern California, the site is a joint effort brought together by the Getty Museum in collaboration with the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Norton Simon Museum, and the Timken Museum.

Rembrandt in Southern California allows anyone anywhere in the world to see and study these paintings together in one place,’ says Timothy Potts, director of the Getty Museum. ‘For museum-goers in and visitors to Southern California, we hope they will use the website as a tool to enhance their visits to see all of these extraordinary paintings in person. Together, these works tell the story of the extraordinary range and unparalleled achievements of one of the world’s most celebrated artists.’

The website, originally launched in 2008, has not only brought together images of paintings and drawings by Rembrandt but also includes a number of resources including videos and podcasts. For the online collection, the Hammer Museum contributed images of the two paintings they own, the Getty brought five, the LACMA provided three, the Norton Simon Museum contributed three, and one is from the Timken Museum of Art. Prints and drawings for the database were contributed by some of the same museums and other collections.

‘The remarkable group of Rembrandt paintings in Southern California museums represents nearly every phase of the artist’s long career,’ said Anne Woollett, the Getty’s curator of paintings. ‘Together they offer a marvelous opportunity to experience fascinating history scenes, intriguing portraits and the compelling emotional states of heroic figures, as well as Rembrandt’s exhilarating range of painting techniques.’

This isn’t the only Rembrandt happening that’s allowing people from around the world to get more Rembrandt in their life. About 5,500 miles from LA, the Rijksmuseum has had a massive exhibition of every Rembrandt the museum has to offer (which is about 400). However, one of Rembrandt’s most known paintings, The Night Watch, which was also the focal point of the exhibition, will soon undergo a massive conservation project. What’s more is that the process of removing varnishes and further mend the effects of 1975 knife attack will be streamed online so that people around the world can watch. Rembrandt’s works have also been used for to create an AI algorithm that may help authenticate artworks.

Rembrandt in Southern California is yet another way to help people around the world experience works by the Old Master. While seeing Rembrandt Laughing in person is still the best way to experience the artwork, the renewed website offers a fantastic resource for those halfway around the world or right next door.