Rembrandt and the Passion


Rembrandt and the Passion
Hunterian Art Gallery
15 September – 2 December 2012
Admission £5 (£3 concession)

This must-see exhibition is one of the most significant to be staged by The Hunterian in its 200 year history.

Rembrandt and the Passion offers a unique opportunity to see one of The Hunterian’s most famous paintings, Rembrandt’s Entombment Sketch, alongside a number of key international loans, including masterpieces never seen before in Scotland.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 - 1669) is considered to be the most famous of all Dutch artists and one of Europe’s greatest painters and printmakers.

Rembrandt and the Passion tells the story of his Entombment Sketch and explains how it influenced one of the most important commissions of Rembrandt’s career. The exhibition also goes behind the scenes in his studio, uncovering his painting process, inspiration and the techniques he used.
New information about the Entombment Sketch is also revealed following recent scientific research carried out at the National Gallery in London.

Image 1: Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait, 1632.
© CSGCIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Image 2: Rembrandt van Rijn, Entombment Sketch (detail),
c. 1630.

Video [mp4]

Passion Subjects

Rembrandt's Passion Subjects

The most important commission of Rembrandt’s career was a series of seven paintings of the Passion of Christ, produced for the Prince of Orange between 1632 and 1646. The dramatic series depicts the suffering of Christ in the hours leading up to, and following, his execution by crucifixion.

For the first time, the Entombment Sketch is displayed alongside Rembrandt’s finished Entombment painting from the famous series, on loan from the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. These important works are also surrounded by a group of paintings and etchings on Passion themes.

The relationship between Rembrandt’s Sketch and his finished Entombment painting is examined, along with the influence of works by other artists including Rubens’ stunning oil sketch for The Descent from the Cross, on loan from The Courtauld Gallery in London.

Image: Peter Paul Rubens, The Descent from the Cross, 1611 © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London.


Rembrandt's Studio

Rembrandt had a magnificent collection of prints and drawings which he used for reference when working on his Entombment painting.

The exhibition explores how Rembrandt studied the work of other great artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Rubens, how they influenced him and how he emulated their work for maximum expressive effect.

Pictures that Rembrandt admired are on show alongside the works that they inspired.

Image: Rembrandt van Rijn after Leonardo da Vinci, Sketch after Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, c.1635 © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Oil Sketches

Rembrandt's Oil Sketches 

Oil sketches have a very important place in Rembrandt’s work and the exhibition explains how and why he used them, as well as the different techniques he employed. The Hunterian Entombment Sketch is compared with two of Rembrandt’s other famous oil sketches on passion subjects - the Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross and Ecce Homo, both on loan from the National Gallery in London.

Scientific investigation

Recent scientific analysis has revealed new information about the Entombment Sketch and the exhibition presents the fascinating results, which include details of x-ray and pigment analysis carried out at the National Gallery in London.

This new scientific data gives a more accurate assessment of the painting’s date and purpose. 

Image: Infrared reflectogram of The Hunterian Entombment Sketch. Image courtesy of the National Gallery, London.

Further Information

Further Information

Exhibition Catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication, Rembrandt and the Passion, by exhibition curator Peter Black and Dr. Erma Hermens. This scholarly work is an in depth exploration of The Hunterian Entombment Sketch, which looks at the work in relation to the other works on display and features full page colour reproductions of the works in the exhibition.

Peter Black is Curator of Prints (General) and Italian, Dutch and German Old Masters at The Hunterian. Dr Erma Hermens is the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow.

The publication is available for purchase online and from the Hunterian Art Gallery shop, priced £25.00.

You might also enjoy

Rembrandt, by Christopher White, Thames & Hudson World of Art Library (1984)
Rembrandt’s Universe by Gary Schwartz (2006)
The Rembrandt Book by Gary Schwartz (2006)
Rembrandt’s Eyes by Simon Schama (1999)

Other places to see works by Rembrandt

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (2 works)
National Galleries of Scotland (4 works)

National Gallery, London (20 works)
The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1 work)
Dulwich Picture Gallery (4 works)
Wallace Collection (3 works)


University of Glasgow: Erma Hermens, Matthew Barr, Peter Chung, David Collins. University College Dublin: Aoife Daly. National Gallery Scientific Department: Ashok Roy, Rachel Billinge, Helen Howard, David Peggie, Joseph Padfield. University of Southampton: Kirk Martinez and Philip Basford.


The Hunterian would like to thank all of the lenders to the exhibition:

Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
The British Museum, London
The Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums
The Courtauld Gallery, London
Edinburgh University Library
Glasgow University Library
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The National Gallery, London
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
Teylers Museum, Haarlem



Rembrandt and the Passion is supported by KLM, Fundación Banco Santander and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Hunterian special exhibition programme is supported by GU Heritage Retail Ltd.

Events and Special Offers

Rembrandt and the Passion Events

See Rembrandt for less!
10 October and 14 November 2012
Hunterian Art Gallery
5.00pm - 7.00pm
As part of our Late Night Wednesdays series, all visitors will receive 25% off admission to the Rembrandt and the Passion exhibition between 5.00pm and 7.00pm on 10 October and 14 November. (Last entry 6.30pm).

Meet and Chat with a Glasgow Print Studio Printmaker
Saturday 3 November 2012
Hunterian Art Gallery
1.00pm – 2.30pm
Come along to the Hunterian Gallery for a first hand, and hands on, experience of printmaking. Alistair Gow, graduate of Glasgow School of Art and winner of the Philip Reeves Prize for Printmaking, will demonstrate etching techniques used by Rembrandt himself: techniques visible in the works on display and still used by printmakers today.

Centre for Open Studies Rembrandt Symposium
Saturday 3 November 2012
Hunterian Art Gallery Lecture Theatre
10.00am - 1.00pm
£16.00 (includes tea and coffee)
This half-day symposium has been organised by the University's Centre for Open Studies and The Hunterian to coincide with Rembrandt and the Passion. An introduction to Rembrandt’s work as a painter and printmaker will be followed by a session exploring the themes of the exhibition with an account of how the exhibition was planned.

To book a place, please visit the Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow, St Andrew's Building, Eldon Street, Glasgow or phone 0141 330 1860/1853/2772 between 10.00am and 4.30pm (Monday - Friday).(Course number ADED9035D)

Rembrandt Evening Lecture
Thursday 15 November 2012
Hunterian Art Gallery Lecture Theatre
5.00pm - 8.00pm
A not to be missed lecture on ‘Rembrandt: A Man for all Media’, given by Rembrandt expert Gary Schwartz. Admission is free but spaces are limited. Guests will receive 25% discount on admission to the Rembrandt and the Passion exhibition on the evening. Doors open at 5.00pm. Lecture begins at 6.00pm.

Please note that this event is now fully booked. Please email Elaine Monteith if you would like to be added to the reserve list.

Rembrandt and the Passion Symposium
Friday 16 November
Gloag Lecture Theatre*
9.00am - 5.00pm
*School of Law, The Stair Building, 5 The Square, University of Glasgow (A19 on Campus Map)


09.00am - 10.00am - Visit to Rembrandt and the Passion exhibition (admission free for delegates)

10.00am - 10.30am - Registration / coffee at brasserie '1a The Square' (A9 on Campus Map)

10.30am - 10.40am - Gloag Lecture Theatre, Welcome - Professor David Gaimster, Director of The Hunterian

10.40am - 11.00am - Peter Black, The Hunterian, and Erma Hermens, University of Glasgow - An introduction to art historical and technical issues tackled in the exhibition

11.00am - 11.30am - Erik Hinterding, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - Rembrandt’s oil sketches for etchings

11.30am - 12.00pm - Jørgen Wadum, National Gallery of Denmark - Rembrandt’s use of underdrawing

12.00pm - 1.00pm - Discussion

1.00pm - 2.00pm - Break for lunch

2.00pm - 2.30pm - Petria Noble, Mauritshuis, The Hague - Looking through the paint layers of late Rembrandt paintings

2.30pm - 3.00pm - Christian T. Seifert, Scottish National Gallery - Pieter Lastman in Rembrandt’s workshop: Some observations on the dissemination of Lastman’s art amongst Rembrandt’s pupils

3.00pm - 4.00pm - Discussion

4.45pm - Close

Admission to the Symposium is £20.00 (£10.00 for students). Advance registration required. Payment for the Symposium can be made in advance by cheque or in cash on the day. Please download, complete and return the booking form (and your cheque if paying in advance) to:

Peter Black
Hunterian Art Gallery
University of Glasgow
82 Hillhead Street
Glasgow G12 8QQ

Please make cheques payable to ‘The University of Glasgow’.

Rembrandt Lecture and Symposium Booking Form

Campus Map

For further information email

Rembrandt and the Passion Special Offers

‎Food to go
From 15 September, Food to go will extend its opening hours to include weekends (open Saturdays from 10.00am - 4.00pm and Sundays from 11.00am - 4.00pm). Hunterian visitors can enjoy a full range of speciality coffee, tea, sandwiches and cakes. Located in the Fraser building, opposite the Hunterian Art Gallery - see map for details. Also open Monday - Thursday from 8.00am - 7.30pm and Friday from 8.00am - 4.30pm.

25% off Hot Beverages at Food to go
Visitors to Rembrandt and the Passion can receive 25% off all hot beverages purchased at Food to go. To receive your discount, ask for a voucher when you purchase your exhibition ticket. Terms and conditions apply - see voucher for details.
Rembrandt SPT Park and Ride Offer
Visitors to Rembrandt and the Passion can also receive all day parking for £2.00 with SPT at their Kelvinbridge Subway Park and Ride Car Park. Simply show your Rembrandt till receipt to claim your discounted parking! Offer valid until 2 December 2012. Only valid on day of purchase.
Don't forget, The Hunterian offers free parking on campus at weekends. Enter main University campus via University Avenue.