Rembrandt in Russian Museums

     The collection of Rembrandt's paintings in Russian Museums is one of the most outstanding in the world. It is concentrated in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; six more paintings are to be found in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. The Russian collection has long enjoyed world fame, being considered, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the world's finest both in quantity and quality. Hint: Point on the stamps with the mouse index for more information about the works of art displayed and about the stamps. 

Russia, 1970. The Return of the Prodigal Son. Ca. 1663. Scott 3805. Russia, 1973. Saskia as Flora. 1634. Scott 4148. Russia, 1973. Young Woman Trying an Earing. 1657. Scott 4141.

    The first Rembrandt paintings appeared in Russia during the rule of Peter the Great, who laid the foundation of Western European art collections in Russia. In the sixties of the eighteenth century was born Hermitage, the Winter Palace picture gallery. The most active role in enriching its collection played the Prince Dmitry Golitsyn, sent by the Empress Catherine the Great to Paris as chargé d'affaires and to The Hague in 1768 as ambassador. It is he who managed to buy Rembrandt's celebrated masterpieces "The Return of Prodigal Son", "Danae" and "Flora". 

Russia, 1983. Portrait of an Old Woman. 1650.  Scott 5129. Russia, 1983. Portrait of Mrs. Baertjen Martens Doomer. Ca. 1640.Scott 5132. Russia, 1983. Sacrifice of Abraham. 1635. Scott 5133. Russia, 1983. Portrait of a Scholar, 1631. Scott 5130.

    The second half of the 18th century, when the Hermitage collection was in the process of formation, saw a surge of interest in Rembrandt's legacy in Europe. During the age of Romanticism the name of Rembrandt became extremely popular in European intellectual circles.

Russia, 1983. Portrait of an Old Man in a Red garment. Scott 5129. On the label: Hermitage posesses one of the best collections of Rembrandt (1606-1669), the greatest Low Countries painter of the 17th century. Russia, 1983. Old Warrior. Scott 5131.

    The basic concepts on Rembrandt's art crystallized in the 19th century. Certain features of his art seem to have been established once for all; these are the amazing originality and its incomparable spiritual force, so typical of his mature period.

Russia, 1976. Portrait of Rembrand's Brother, Adrian. 1654. Pushkin Museum. Scott 4515. Russia, 1976. Ahasuerus, Haman and Esther. 1660. Pushkin Museum. Scott 4516.

    A Rembrandt painting is a highly complicated artistic organism that lives following its own laws; it is an artistic organism that embodies the titanic work of the painters emotions and thoughts. Each painting is a unique work of art, but at the same time it is a link in the long chain of master's creations.

Russia, 1976. David' Farewell to Jonathan. 1642. Scott 4513. Russia, 1976. Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. 1637. Scott 4511. Russia, 1976. Danaë. 1636. Scott 4512. Russia, 1976. The Holy Family with Angels. 1645. Scott 4515.

    The legacy of Rembrandt the painter consists mainly of portraits and canvases on biblical and mythological subjects; such paintings were called "histories" in the 17th century. Portraits constitute the majority, but for the painter himself the "histories" were far more important. Nevertheless close and multiple ties exist between the portraits and his "histories". (After V. Loewinson-Lessing and X. Yegorova, Rembrandt, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1975).

    Notice: Some paintings on this page are exhibited in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. All of them originate in the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg and were transferred in the twenties for political reasons to Moscow by the former Soviet government.


Published: 04/19/2000. Revised: 12/24/06.
Copyright © 2000 - 2007 by Victor Manta, Switzerland.
All rights reserved worldwide.

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