Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rembrandt in Oman

Rembrandt in Oman is an  exhibition of the great painter's etchings organized by Al Salmi Library. Kudos to them for arranging this refreshing show down here. And to all the sponsors as well. The show is soon to close after it's one month run.
Initial feedback on the show, from acquaintances, were poor. They were probably expecting some of his more famous paintings to be up on show. The Night Watch, perhaps. Probably disappointed to see a lot of black & white sketches.
The show was quite fascinating nonetheless. The artist's trademark use of chiaroscuro to highlight parts of the picture was very visible. Rembrandt's use of lighting is quite famous. It is said that he made shadows fall where he wanted them to fall.
His name, of course, even more famous. Once Sam Goldwyn seeing a film he was producing, with only half the actor's face illuminated, worried that exhibitors would pay only half the price. Director Cecil B. DeMille told him it was Rembrandt Lighting. Quoting deMille quoting Goldwyn "Sam’s reply was jubilant with relief: for Rembrandt lighting the exhibitors would pay double!"
It was amazing to see the contrast that Rembrandt was able to bring into the prints. And the level of detail in some of them was wonderful. All this in, essentially, a 2 colour medium. Quite a few of the etchings were on biblical themes.
Besides seeing the beautiful etchings, also learned a few terms related to the art. Drypoint - Using a hard-pointed metal needle to engrave. Burin - Cold Chisel. Chiaroscuro - Use of light & dark to bring out contrast. And Intaglio - the International Business School Meet* at IIMC:) Overall, a positive experience.

* Formerly known as National Booze & Sutta Meet

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