Rembrandt, the Bible and his Engravings

Le Baptême de l’eunuque 1641 © Musée d’art et d’histoire, Ville de Genève

The exhibition Rembrandt et la Bible. Gravure divine is a collaboration between the Musée d’art et d’histoire (MAH) and the Musée International de la Réforme (MIR). A total of 72 works are brought together for the first time.

This group represents many of the 89 religious scenes engraved by the painter. Of the 314 prints Rembrandt made, 89 have a religious theme.

In addition to Biblical episodes, there are portraits of St Jerome, several Virgins with child, depictions of the Holy Family, the death of the Virgin and a portrait of women reading the Bible. The exhibition shows several variations of the same theme.

The exhibition design considers the medium Rembrandt used and is inspired by his studio in Amsterdam. The exhibition follows the chronology of the Bible, with texts from the Old and New Testament near the works, allowing visitors to see which episodes from the Bible Rembrandt selected and how he treated them.

His Biblical episodes are varied, and the realism of the characters can be interpreted as a desire to involve everyone in the events of the sacred story.

Rembrandt immortalised his family, neighbours and the people he encountered in 17th-century Amsterdam as models for his depictions. Because most of the engravings are small, the scenography unfolds by creating numerous enlargements of details.

The exhibition is divided into five rooms, including the religious context in Amsterdam, followed by a room combining biographical, historical and artistic chronologies, a printing press to print the details of the Rembrandt engravings on display, and a film explaining the etching technique used by the artist.

From Raphael to Piranesi and italian disegni in Vevey

Giorgio Ghisi (1520-1584), Les noces de Pschyché et Cupidon,1574. Musée Jenisch Vevey. Cabinet cantonal des estampes, Sammlung Kanton Waadt

Italian drawings from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century are the focus of the exhibition Disegno disegni. More than 100 sheets from a private collection are highlighted for this occasion, in dialogue with the museum’s collection.

Pieces from the Renaissance to the 19th century take visitors through Italy’s major artistic centres, from Venice to Rome, via Bologna and Florence.

Artists in these cities used diverse techniques and materials when creating their drawings. Religious and secular subjects, study pages and simple sketches show the versatility of the medium and its functions.

To complement the exhibition Disegno disegni, the Pavillon de l’estampe presents a selection of engravings made in Italy between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

The exhibition From Raphael to Piranesi ( De Raphaël à Piranèse) highlights the role of prints in the spread of Italian models, from the many reproductions modelled on Raphael to Piranesi’s famous series of prints. It shows various techniques and subjects that have interested printmakers over the years.

The Iberians in Basel

Dama de Elche, 4th century (l), Dama de Baza, 4th century (m), Dama del Cerro de los Santos, 2sd century (r). Dama de Baza: collection Duran Vall-llorera; Dama de Elche and Dama del Cerro, Collection Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya, Barcelona. Photo: TES

The Iberians are subject of a major archaeological exhibition in Basel. The Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig, in cooperation with the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya in Barcelona, presents more than 260 exhibits from 40 archaeological excavation sites that illustrate the diversity and beauty of these peoples who lived along the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula during the Iron Age (800-100 BC).

Pictures: Exhibition ‘Iberians’, Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig

The exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the history of the Iberian peoples. The Iberian culture began to develop in the 6th century BC. The era of the Iberians came to an end around 500 years later when the entire Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Romans.

The Iberian peoples lived on the southern coast of Andalusia from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as across the entire eastern coast of what is now Spain, also extending as far as Languedoc in what is now southern France.

They achieved a high level of social and cultural development. The Iberian culture developed from the combination of local traditions and foreign influences from the Orient and Greece. Drawn to the region by the plentiful metals, the Phoenicians, and later the Greeks, established trading settlements in the areas populated by the Iberians.

The Iberian culture was characterised by highly developed production techniques, for example gold and silversmithing methods, as well as a spoken and written language, a complex system of gods and religious practices.

Its civilisation was already mentioned by ancient Greek and Roman scholars, but  forgotten after the fall of the Roman Empire (5th century AD). Archaeological excavations and historical, linguistic and paleogenetic studies allow a reconstruction of this splendid Iron Age culture.

The exhibition texts are available in Catalan, Spanish, German, English and French.