Which period from the life of Saint Peter Rembrandt has depicted in his oil painting ‘Saint Peter Kneeling’; do we see his denial of Jesus or do we see him imprisoned in Jerusalem?
That is the central question of the exhibition of this single painting. A question that keeps many experts busy and creates great division among them. Guest Curator Jasper Hillegers is following this question analysing all the visual aspects of the painting.
In the exhibition here we are has created different spaces in which the visual aspects are being explained and placed in the historical context. Each room is open on one end giving a clear view on the original painting. The aim is to always be able to relate to the original, to see and feel Rembrandt’s intriguing play with perception. This has formed the core of the spatial configuration of the exhibition.
The main defining walls start or end from the sides of the wall with the original painting. It makes the Rembrandt being the centre of the exhibition. From this central point looking towards the different rooms a blown up cut out of the painting indicates which part of the painting is being reflected on there.
In the graphical design of the walls Bloemendaal & Dekkers have used abstract light bundles inspired by Rembrandt’s play with light to organize the walls. These bundles create place for the explanation text and different shades create a feeling of space and perspective.
Like in a pinball machine the visitor is being thrown from the centre into the space to explore and gain points to come to an own conclusion.
The original painting unfortunately didn’t make it to this exhibition in Amsterdam as promised. Additional guarantees were demanded a few weeks before the opening. Guarantees that could not be given by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A replica is being installed on the place where the original painting had to be.