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Renaissance portraits on display in the new Rijksmuseum exhibition

When the COVID-19 blockade is relaxed and the border reopens, the Rijksmuseum will bring together more than 100 Renaissance portraits from all over Europe.

The new ‘Remember Me’ exhibition at the National Museum of the Netherlands covers the centuries from 1470 to 1570 and features portraits from across the continent by masters such as Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein, and Titian.

It also shows how long the artists spent portraying people, their wealth, their work, their strength, and their love for each other.

The exhibit was underway before the pandemic swept the world last year, but the momentous wish was more urgent than ever in the blockade, said Taco David, the museum’s director. said.

“We now feel that the corona crisis is so far away that people cannot come to you. We couldn’t travel,” David said on Tuesday. That’s always been the case in the Renaissance, where travel was much more difficult…there was a great desire to welcome people to you. I think you’ve been feeling it for the past year and a half. “


The show provides a snapshot of European society during the Renaissance, two of the earliest individual portraits of a black man known in Europe, perhaps Christofle, a man in military uniform, Jan Jans Mostert. His paintings have been included in one exhibition for the first time. The 1508 painting “Portrait of Africans” by Albrecht Dürer, on loan from Lemore, the personal bodyguard of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and the Albertina collection in Vienna.

For David, whose museum has just closed a groundbreaking exhibition on the history of slavery in the Netherlands and earlier colonies, the two portraits liberate the black Renaissance European population from ambiguity. The route.

“There were about 1,500 Africans in Europe in the Renaissance, so I thought it was very important to showcase these two works and show their presence,” he said. In the field of art, these works were invisible. So people just thought, well, they didn’t exist. “


For the curators of paintings by Divitz and Matthias Ubul, Early Netherlandish, Italian and German, one of the highlights of the exhibition is the mysterious “portrait of a young girl” painted by Petrus Christus around 1470… A portrait of an unknown girl is hired from the Berlin Gemäldegalerie. This painting left the museum for the first time since 1994.

Ubl said he was first fascinated by the work when he saw it on a poster about 20 years ago as a student in London.

“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘Wow, this is so much fun. This is one of the most beautiful portraits out there.” And now it’s here and it’s almost unrealistic,” Ubl said.

Obtaining all portraits lent to Amsterdam from museums in Europe, England, and the United States was an achievement in itself in the age of travel restrictions. The show starts on October 1 and runs until January 16.

“We are very grateful that we brought them all together,” said Dibbits. “And it’s really like a (re)union. It’s like the real people are reunited, and these Renaissance people are reunited here.”

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