Divine Inspiration: Rembrandt Exhibition at the DIA

Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus exhibit opens
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Head of Christ, by Rembrandt van Rijn, oil on oak panel, circa 1648-50, included in Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, opening Nov. 20 at the DIA. // Image courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts and Staatliche Museen Preussicher Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Looking at great art is often a spiritual experience, and an exhibit opening this month at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) leaves no doubt that a great master can elevate viewers to a higher plane, no matter their religious affiliation.

Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, opening Nov. 20, includes 64 works by the great Dutch artist and his students. Organized by the DIA, the Musée du Louvre, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art — and including pieces from more than 30 lenders — the exhibit is remarkable in that it not only reveals the hand of a superior painter, but it also shows how singularly Rembrandt (1606-69) depicted Christ. He was the first Western artist to portray Jesus as Semitic and also stressed Christ’s contemplative nature, made all the more dramatic through his famous use of chiaroscuro (light and shadow).

Runs through Feb. 12. Tickets include museum admission and an audio tour: $16 adults, $8 youth (6-17). 5200 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-7900, dia.org.

 


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