Face-off: Rembrandt vs Vermeer
A debate on the two giants of Dutch painting
Join us in the final weeks of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum as we bid farewell to Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer.
During their time in Sydney, Rembrandt’s poignant Self portrait as the apostle Paul (1661) and Vermeer’s tranquil Woman reading a letter (c1663) have been hung directly opposite one another for the very first time. So how do Rembrandt and Vermeer, two of the most famous and admired figures in the history of art, compare? In this special event, two art historians go head-to-head to debate the merits and legacies of these titans of the Dutch golden age.
In the first lecture, art historian Michael Hill discusses the intricacies of Rembrandt’s work, explaining why he was such a master storyteller and why his work continues to affect us so profoundly to this day. In the second lecture, the Gallery’s Josephine Touma takes the side of Vermeer, revealing the mysteries of his life and career, the rarity of his work and the ongoing inspiration his 35 paintings offer to writers, artists and art lovers the world over.
We then open up to questions and debate on the strengths of each painter, in a discussion moderated by historian of Dutch art Georgina Cole.
Which side will you take?
Dr Michael Hill is the head of art history and theory at the National Art School. His research areas include 17th-century art and classical architectural theory.
Dr Josephine Touma was the exhibition researcher for Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age: masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum. She is the manager of public programs at the Art Gallery of NSW and an art historian specialising in 17th- and 18th-century European art.
Dr Georgina Cole is a lecturer in the department of art history and theory at the National Art School. She specialises in 17th- and 18th-century art and art theory and has written on the idea of the threshold in Dutch genre painting.
Image: Rembrandt Self-portrait as the apostle Paul 1661 (detail), Rijksmuseum, De Bruijn-van der Leeuw Bequest, Muri, Switzerland
Sunday 11 February 2018, 11am
Plus $2 online transaction fee
Includes two 30-minute lectures, followed by a 30-minute discussion. Does not include exhibition ticket.
Duration 1 hour, 30 minutes
Location: Domain Theatre
Related exhibition: Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age