Anish Kapoor and Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has a fascinating visual dialogue between the work of British artist Anish Kapoor and the famous 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn, highlighting similarities in physical composition and thematic concerns between the two masters.

Titled “Anish Kapoor & Rembrandt,” the exhibition juxtaposes Kapoor’s “Internal Object in Three Parts,” a series of series of three painted silicone reliefs, with a number of Rembrandt’s later works, such as “The Jewish Bride,” “The Syndics, “Titus Dressed as a Monk,” and “Self-Portrait as the Apostle Paul.”

“Internal Object in Three Parts,” which is displayed in the Museum’s Gallery of Honor, marks Kapoor’s return to painting. Evoking images of “bloody, sinewy lumps of meat,” the work extends Kapoor’s interest in the Greek legend of Marsyas, whose skin was flayed by the Greek god Apollo. The three painted reliefs created from layers of red and white resin and silicone evoke images of bloody, sinewy lumps of meat.

Nederland, Amsterdam, 25-11-2015. Kunstwerken Internal Objects van de kunstenaar Anish Kapoor in de Eregallerij van het Rijksmuseum. Foto: Olivier Middendorp

Rembrandt’s daring and intimate later works are characterized by their emotional depth and textured, tactile surfaces – attributes common to both artists’ work. Thematically, Kapoor and Rembrandt also have a history of dealing with issues of violence, trauma, and social and political unrest.

Anish Kapoor in the Rijksmuseum

Anish Kapoor in front of one of one of the paintings