Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Conference | Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes

February 14, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on January 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

One event on February 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

One event on February 14, 2022 at 11:00 am

From 19 October 2022 through 15 January 2023 the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow is presenting an exhibition on the meaning of Rembrandt to Jews. With the Jews in his city of Amsterdam Rembrandt had contact of various professional and personal kinds, which will be evoked in a reconstruction of his neighborhood. He painted and etched portraits of Jewish sitters, used Jews as models for face studies and put Jewish figures into genre scenes and Bible compositions. Jews in Amsterdam and elsewhere soon began to see Rembrandt in a different light than other artists. His portrait etchings became models for images of rabbis. Female figures by him began to be called Jewish brides.

In the nineteenth century there was an intensification of the perceived link between Rembrandt and the Jews. He was seen as sympathetic toward the Jews, in a time when this was far from common. To European Jews, including wealthy art collectors, this made him the object of special admiration; to anti-Semites it brought him a measure of disdain. Responding to both these effects, Rembrandt was embraced by generation after generation of Jewish artists, who identified with him in their art and in their lives.

These themes and more will be explored and displayed in the exhibition, whose guest curators are Gary Schwartz and Mirjam Knotter. In preparation for it, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center has organized a series of lectures on the subject of the exhibition. They will be presented online in four sessions of three half-hour lectures each, on successive Mondays starting on 24 January 2022.

Moderator for all sessions: Gary Schwartz
The Program

24 January
Simon Schama, University Professor, Columbia University, New York
“Rembrandt in the Work and Lives of Jewish Immigrant Artists in Britain”

Jews and Judaism in Rembrandt’s Own World
Mirjam Knotter, Chief Curator and Exhibitions Manager, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
“Jewish Daily Life and Material Culture in Rembrandt’s Time”

Bart Wallet, Professor of Jewish History, University of Amsterdam
“The Ashkenazi Community of Amsterdam”

31 January
Spiritual Values that United and Divided Rembrandt and the Jews
Michael Zell, Associate Professor of Baroque and Eighteenth-Century Art, Boston University
“Rembrandt, the Jews and Multicultural Amsterdam”

Steven Nadler, WARF Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“Menasseh ben Israel, Spinoza and Rembrandt”

Shelley Perlove, Professor Emerita, University of Michigan
“What Judaism Meant to Rembrandt and Vice Versa”

7 February
Jews in the Art World and Rembrandt
Gary Schwartz, Guest Curator, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow
“Jewish Collectors Take Rembrandt to Their Hearts”

Larry Silver, James & Nan Farquhar Professor Emeritus of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
“Jewish Artists Discover Rembrandt”

Laurence Sigal-Klagsblad, Founding Director, Musée d’art et d’histoire du Juadaisme, Paris
“Jewish Museums Present Rembrandt”

14 February (the talks will be given in Russian with simultaneous translation into English)
Rembrandt in Russia
Irina Sokolova, Curator of Dutch Painting, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
“Rembrandt in Russia”

Roman Grigoryev, Head of the Print Section of the Department of Western Visual Arts, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
“Jewish Brides, Rabbis and Sitters in Rembrandt’s Etchings”

Nina Getshvili, Head of the Art History Department at the Ilya Glazunov Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow
“Rembrandt and Russian Jewish Artists”

All sessions will begin at

20:00 Moscow time, which is
19:00 in Israel
18:00 in continental Western Europe
17:00 in the United Kingdom
12:00 on the North American east coast
09:00 on the west coast


February 14, 2022
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category: