The National Gallery will play host to Rembrandt's The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis (1661-1662.) The piece will be on loan from Sweden's National Museum and is part of the upcoming "Rembrandt: The Late Works" exhibition which will run from 15th October until January 2015.

Rembrandt Rembrandt, The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis (1661-1662)
Photo: The National Gallery, London

It is the first time the painting has travelled to the UK. The exhibition's curator Betsy Wieseman commented: 'The extraordinary circumstances of the commissioning and early history of this painting are perhaps the most eloquent statement of Rembrandt's position in Amsterdam artistic circles in the early 1660s, one of the central questions addressed in the exhibition. That is just one reason why I am absolutely thrilled it is coming to London."

The work was not always so well received, when it was revealed it was rejected by the civic leaders of Amsterdam who had commissioned it due to the fact the grotesque imagery would not please the Dutch society. In addition, Rembrandt controversially featured the one-eyed dutch hero Claudius Civilis from the front rather than in profile, as tradition dictated.

According to Jonathan Bikker, curator of research at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, a bankrupt Rembrandt insisted on another payment for the changes  requested by the Amsterdam officials who had first commissioned the painting. Rembrandt in a dramatic move reduced the canvas size when the officials refused to pay. The painting then became a fifth of its original size.

 

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