It seems as if the Dutch collection at the National Gallery of Art is never ending.

In this masterpiece, purchased by Andrew Mellon in 1921, and given to the museum as part of his founding gift, Rembrandt portrays Lucretia in utter anguish, right before her act of suicide.

Lucretia (1664) by Rembrandt van Rijn

The painting below is unusual in that the costume is executed in a manner quite different from the face; whereas the facial features are modeled with delicate nuance, the costume is hinted at with a variety of bold techniques. Rembrandt’s portraits generally do not show such markedly different techniques in the face and the costume. This and other stylistic considerations are sufficient to remove the painting from Rembrandt's own oeuvre, but instead consider it painted by one of his students.

Portrait of Rembrandt (1650) by Rembrandt workshop

Jan Lievens is among the most fascinating, but least known Dutch artists of 17th-century Leiden and Amsterdam. He was a child prodigy, creating outstanding paintings before the age of 12. Many of his paintings have been attributed to his colleague Rembrandt which may explain why Lievens has not received the same acclaim now as he did during his own lifetime.

Bearded Man with a Beret (1630) by Jan Lievens

Below is yet another privately-owned painting gratefully on loan to the museum. Jan Lievens was born in 1607 which means he was only 22 or 23 years old when he did these two paintings.
Self-Portrait (1629-1630) by Jan Lievens


As the most important of the Utrecht Caravaggisti, the name given to Dutch painters who traveled to Italy to study Caravaggio's chiaroscuro technique, ter Brugghen was instrumental in bringing the Italian artist’s style back to the Netherlands. This painting was another work that was restituted back to its original pre-WWII owners in 2008. The purchase of this painting by the museum in 2009 was a highlight since became the first Caravaggisti painting in the museum's permanent collection.
Bagpipe Player (1624) by Hendrick ter Brugghen

NOTE: The museum's website recently launched their NGA Online Editions, beginning with Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century by Gallery curator of Northern Baroque paintings Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. NGA Online Editions will ultimately document more than 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts in the nation's collection. Check out more at: 


The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue.
  • Admission is always FREE.
  • Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Open Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
All photos in this blog post were taken by me during my visit in September, 2013.

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