The months of anticipation have come to an end as Queen’s third Rembrandt painting was unveiled to the public at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s season opening on April 29.
Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo was donated in November 2015 by prominent Queen’s philanthropists Alfred and Isabel Bader. The painting’s estimated value is $60 million.
In 2011, the Baders purchased Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo from businessman and art collector, Steve Wynn for an estimated $33.2 million. Over the past five years, the painting has doubled in price, and now sits in The Agnes’ permanent collection.
Rembrandt van Rijn’s’s Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo (1658)joins two other paintings in the art centre’s permanent collection by the Dutch artist – Head of an Old Man in a Cap (c. 1630) and Head of a Man in a Turban (c. 1661).
“The unveiling of Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo is an exciting moment for the university,” Principal Woolf said in a press release.
“This donation, one of the most significant contributions of art to a Canadian university in recent history, elevates the Agnes’s collection and expands the university’s international reputation as a centre for the study, research and enjoyment of Dutch Baroque painting.”
Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo is a significant Rembrandt piece. The painting, with its bold hues and fine strokes, demonstrates his audacious style as well as his technique as a portraitist. While the sitter is unknown, many believe he is a traveller of the Mediterranean with his black beret and striped doublet. Overall, the dark and realistic style of the painting reflects the flourishing artistry of the Dutch Golden Age – a significant period in art history.
Along with the unveiling of the latest Rembrandt, Agnes officials announced that admission to the gallery’s exhibits would be free for all visitors all year round.
“Our generous benefactors Alfred and Isabel Bader have shared their collection with us. In turn, we want to ensure The Bader Collection is accessible for all,” Jan Allen, the director of the Agnes, said in a press release.
The new admission policy provides everyone – students, faculty, staff, community members and visitors – with the opportunity to peruse upwards of 200 other Dutch and Flemish paintings, collectively worth millions, all donated by the Bader family.
The Agnes’ season launch has a lot to celebrate. Besides the latest Rembrandt installation and the new admission policy, the gallery launched four new exhibits that showcase Kingston artists and members of the African and diasporic communities in and around Kingston.
The exhibitions include Dig, The Inspired “Amateur”: Kingston Women Artists 1890s to 1920s, Art Scenes Kingston: 1840s / 1940s / 1970s and Stories to Tell: Africans and the Diaspora Respond to the Lang Collection.
View the season’s exhibitions and latest installations at the Agnes from Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, to 9 p.m. (September to April), Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. and Holiday Mondays, 1 to 5 p.m. (May to September).
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