Throughout his career, Rembrandt depicted instances of divine encounter—confrontations between mortals and immortals, the earthly and the celestial. The biblical story of Abraham, as told in the book of Genesis, contains numerous such episodes—momentous acts of revelation and salvation, which the artist explored in paintings, prints, and drawings from the 1630s through the 1650s. This spectacular group of works reveals Rembrandt’s inventive solutions for conveying divine presence and human perception thereof, as well as his engagement with questions of theological and philosophical significance.
Joanna Sheers Seidenstein is the 2015–17 Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow at The Frick Collection and a doctoral candidate at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she is completing a dissertation on Rembrandt’s treatments of themes from classical antiquity. She is also a co-author of Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time (2017) and, with Susan Grace Galassi and Ian Warrell, co-curator of the exhibition that publication accompanied.