Etching: Rembrandt’s Legacy
- Opening Night: Friday 8 September 2023 | 6pm
Etching has always had an alluring, although slightly risky, reputation. For artists the challenge is associated with the high-risk, high-return or demanding nature of the medium, yet paradoxically it remains one of the few non-commercial printmaking mediums known to the general public as a signifier of an original print distinctive from a print as a reproduction of a painting. This exhibition at the Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre aims to evoke, as much as explicitly explain, the mystique surrounding etching as a primary inventive image-making medium, examining its enduring appeal.
The significance of etching in Rembrandt’s career has been recognized in recent times, as evidenced by the major exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria this year. Titled “Rembrandt: True to Life,” that exhibition presents over 100 of his etchings, emphasizing the importance of printmaking as a central aspect of his creative thinking. This revelation, though new to some, has long been acknowledged among printmakers. In fact, William M. Ivins, a renowned authority, once proclaimed Rembrandt as “the patron saint of non-commercial etchers,” a significant tribute given that it was made seventy years ago in less secular times.
This exhibition Etching: Rembrandt’s Legacy brings together selected Rembrandt etchings and prints by his contemporaries to demonstrate the nature of his innovative contributions to the art of etching as an independent medium. Alongside Rembrandt’s works, the exhibition also showcases later historical examples by esteemed master printmakers such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Francisco de Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, and Max Beckmann. These works collectively illuminate the enduring attraction of etching for artists and collectors from Rembrandt’s time to the present day.