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About the Historical European Art Collection

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Head of an Old Man in a Cap, around 1630, oil on panel. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2003 (46-031)
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Head of a Man in a Turban (Study for a Rabbi?), around 1661, oil on oak panel. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2007 (50-001)
Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo, 1658, oil on canvas, 107.4 x 87.0 cm, Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2015 (58-008). Photo: Bernard Clark


A New Rembrandt for Queen’s

In November 2015, the Agnes received a spectacular gift of art from Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader: Rembrandt van Rijn’s Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo. This captivating portrait, signed and dated 1658, joins two Rembrandt tronies, or character studies, already in The Bader Collection. The Head of an Old Man in a Cap of 1630 displays the artist’s sensitive exploration of the topography of an aged face in the artist’s refined early style. The Head of a Man in a Turban (Study for a Rabbi?) of around 1661, in contrast, demonstrates Rembrandt’s superb treatment of a man’s head subtly illuminated by two light sources. The Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo offers a compelling foil to these two works. In the well-illuminated visage and assertive stance, the subject embodies a bold psychological presence, attesting to Rembrandt’s mastery of conveying human character. This new acquisition beautifully complements the paintings by Rembrandt and his school in The Bader Collection.

The Agnes holds a superb collection of the art of Europe with special strengths that reflect the initiative of Kingston’s citizens, the generosity of Queen’s University alumni, and the research of the university’s Art History scholars. The Bader Collection is comprised of over 200 paintings spanning the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, with a focus on Dutch and Flemish paintings of the Baroque era, including three paintings by Rembrandt, which together reflect this master’s sphere of artistic influence. Among the holdings are paintings by Rembrandt’s talented associate Jan Lievens, and major works by important pupils such as Govert Flinck, Willem Drost and Aert de Gelder. The quality of these works has brought international renown to the Agnes. Paintings by El Greco, Dosso Dossi, Luca Giordano, Georg Pencz and Sebastien Bourdon represent other European cultures at a similarly significant level. British art of the period is represented by portraits by Godfrey Kneller and Peter Lely, and a striking group of eight landscapes by Joseph Wright of Derby.

Thanks to purchases and a gift of over 60 works from Duke Roberto Ferretti, the gallery also holds important Italian drawings from the Renaissance and Mannerist periods highlighted by such famous names as Raphael, Parmigianino, and Guido Reni. These are joined by a handful of outstanding modern drawings by Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, and the artists of the Barbizon School.

Representation of European developments and achievements are captured in prints, with many works of high quality from various cultures and periods, including Dutch landscapes of the 17th century, figural works by Rembrandt and his circle, and a large collection of French prints from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

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