The San Diego Museum of Art shares the extraordinary artistic accomplishment of 17th-century painters and printmakers from the Dutch Republic.

Rembrandt and Printmaking in the Netherlands

Opening this summer, the Museum features Rembrandt and Printmaking in the Netherlands, an exhibition of approximately 20 etchings and engravings by Rembrandt. The exhibition draws from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as loans from the important Rembrandt collection of the University of San Diego (USD).

In addition to the unique etchings by Rembrandt featured inside the exhibition, the Museum also has on view in the Fitch Gallery a masterpiece loan from the Rijksmuseum, an extraordinary oil on canvas by Rembrandt painted around 1628 when the artist was only 21 or 22. Rembrandt was a dedicated self-portraitist and roughly 40 of his self-portraits exist today, allowing the changes in his appearance throughout the years to be read biographically.


Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden, 1606 – Amsterdam, 1669) was among the greatest innovators in the history of art, producing independent masterpieces of draftsmanship, painting, and printmaking. For the latter, he primarily used etching, a medium in which drawn lines are bitten into a waxed copper plate with acid. Rembrandt often added design in drypoint, using a needle to gouge out lines, to add depth and rich blacks to the impression, as is most evident in his night pieces. He constantly made changes to the plates and experimented with his medium and paper, resulting in different versions, called “states.” Each of the prints in this exhibition, then, is a unique work of art.


Featured: Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-portrait, Etching at a Window, 1648. Etching. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Helen M. Towle Bequest. 1947.64.d.