Rembrandt at the Vatican

Rembrandt at the Vatican: Images from Heaven and Earth.

This is the title of the first Vatican exhibition of works by 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijne.

Fifty-three of Rembrandt’s etchings from the Zorn Museum in Sweden are on show.

The display represents a desire for Christian unity, Arnold Nesselrath, who is the Vatican Museums’ curator says.

It’s purpose is to commemorate 500 years since the Reformation and the relationship between Catholics and Protestants.

“Sweden is a particularly Protestant country. Holland is a particularly Protestant country.

“So if you want to set an ecumenical sign through creating events as we’ve seen on the 31st of October [when the Pope visited Sweden], this is what we wanted to contribute to with this exhibition,” he said.

Although Rembrandt did not identify with any faith, his father was a Protestant and his mother Catholic.

His art is said to show “religious influences from both sides as he interprets the stories from the Bible”.

Rembrandt is especially well-known for Biblical scenes like “The Raising of the Cross” and  “Christ Healing the Sick.”

According to Vatican Museums’ director, Antonio Paolucci, Rembrandt is a Protestant who travels “to the heart of Roman Catholicism”.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden were at the opening.

Queen Silvia opened the exhibition.



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