Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India
The 23 surviving drawings Rembrandt Harmenz. van Rijn (1606–1669) made of Mughal emperors, princes and courtiers mark a watershed moment when the Dutch master responded to art of a dramatically different culture. This exhibition considers the significance of these cross-cultural works in the context of 17th-century global exchange. What motivated Rembrandt to study Mughal portraits? Did he own an album of them? Can we trace his drawings to specific, surviving artworks imported into Amsterdam from the Dutch trading post in India? This exhibition reveals the critical eye and attentive curiosity he turned toward Mughal portrait conventions. For Rembrandt, the art of Mughal India was not merely a foreign curiosity: It carried associations of empire, trade, luxury and artistic skill.