Gallery: Rare Rembrandt etchings to go on show at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury
12:12 05 June 2014
A bid to turn the former home of Suffolk’s most celebrated artist, Thomas Gainsborough, into an art gallery of national significance has been given a boost after it secured works by Rembrandt for a summer exhibition.
The ‘Rembrandt the Printmaker’ show at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury will include a selection of extraordinary etchings by the Dutch master which will then go on to appear at the internationally renowned Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The Sudbury exhibition, from June 7 to October 26, is also being staged as a precursor to an exhibition at the National Gallery this autumn entitled ‘Rembrandt: The Final Years’.
Rembrandt, who died in 1669, was a passionate and prolific printmaker who is thought to be unrivalled in the art form. He etched throughout his life showing a particular fascination with the landscapes and people of Amsterdam.
At the height of his career, Rembrandt undertook several lucrative royal and guild commissions, yet died penniless and was buried in an anonymous rented grave.
The Gainsborough’s House exhibition will feature works on loan from the collections of the British Museum and The Fitzwilliam Museum, which inspired generations of printmakers, including Gainsborough.
Director of Gainsborough’s House, Mark Bills, said he hoped the people of Suffolk would take the rare opportunity to see the exquisite works.
He said: “All of the directors of the national galleries have been here and are happy to lend to us, which is great for Sudbury because it means that we can host nationally important exhibitions.
“We are thrilled to have these masterpieces coming to Gainsborough’s House and it is a tribute to the significance of Gainsborough and the work we are doing here that major collections will lend to us and give people the opportunity to see these works.
“Gainsborough admired Rembrandt and even owned several of his etchings.
“I am sure that he would have been thrilled to think that these great impressions of the Dutch Old Master were being displayed in his house.”
Gainsborough’s House recently secured an £85,000 Arts Council Renaissance grant.
It will use the cash to implement a new commercial and marketing plan to help increase footfall and grow income.
The museum shop is currently undergoing a complete refit and neighbouring buildings have been secured to enable planned expansion.