Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Rembrandt’s Light exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Latest light technology for the oldest picture gallery in the world

Over 200 years ago the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London opened its doors for the first time. The gallery, designed by the architect Sir John Soane, is known as the oldest gallery building in the world. Today the gallery uses the latest ERCO LED and lighting technology to impressively present paintings, mainly European art of the 17th and 18th centuries.

2019 is The Year of Rembrandt with celebrations taking place throughout Europe to mark 350 years since the artist’s death (1669). Dulwich Picture Gallery will stage London’s Rembrandt moment with an innovative blockbuster exhibition Rembrandt’s Light that aims to refresh the way that we look at works by this incomparable Dutch Master. The Gallery’s existing lighting system will be upgraded to Casambi Wireless operated ERCO LED luminaires. The new technology will enable the exhibition’s curators to light seminal works by Rembrandt in unique ways and bring to life the exhibition’s theme of light and storytelling. The exhibition runs from 4 October 2019 to 2 February 2020.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Rembrandt’s Light will bring together 35 carefully selected international loans - an exceptional group of paintings, etchings and drawings to contextualise the painter’s revolutionary use of light and shade for dramatic impact. The artworks concentrate on his greatest years from 1639-1658, when he lived in his ideal house at Breestraat in the heart of Amsterdam.

Arranged thematically, the exhibition will trace how Rembrandt manipulated light: from evoking a meditative mood, to lighting people, to creating impact and drama. Highlights will include three of Rembrandt’s most famous images of women: A Woman Bathing in a Stream, A Woman in Bed and the Gallery’s inimitable Girl at a Window which will be displayed side-by-side for the first time. It will also include two works from Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, never displayed before in the UK. The rooms of the gallery will be designed to encourage contemplative moments, with dramatic lighting and illuminating interpretation immersing visitors in Rembrandt’s world. In May 2019 Dulwich Gallery organized a first dinner event as a kick-off to the upcoming exhibition - visitors could already enjoy a small selection of Rembrandt paintings, illuminated with ERCO Optec LED spotlights.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Celebrating masterpieces with an atmospheric exhibition experience

The Dulwich Picture Gallery is the perfect setting to see the power of Rembrandt’s use of light. Completed in 1815, Sir John Soane’s pioneering bespoke design for the Gallery incorporates a series of roof-lanterns which diffuse a natural top-light, creating the ideal setting. This created the most ideal viewing conditions for the collection including its masterpieces by Rembrandt. This is not a coincidence. These architectural solutions evoke the conditions in which Rembrandt worked in his studio, making it the perfect location to show the exhibition alongside the Gallery’s incredible Old Master collection.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

To showcase how Rembrandt used the light to create his masterpieces, world-renowned cinematographer Peter Suschitzky will work with the exhibition’s curators to light the show and create an atmospheric exhibition experience, lighting some of Rembrandt’s greatest works in innovative ways to create contemplative and intimate moments. Rembrandt’s mastery of light is a touchstone for many people working in film; the phrase ‘every frame a Rembrandt’ often being heard on film sets. Suschitzky’s involvement in this seminal exhibition emphasizes the importance of light in both art and film and will champion Rembrandt’s supreme skill.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

ERCO will install the most flexible solution, the wireless method of control in the form of Casambi Bluetooth-enabled luminaires to individually switch and dim luminaires, setting up light scenes and integrating sensors in order to create the atmosphere in the exhibition spaces dreamt by the curators and light each painting tailored to their content. ERCO’s understanding of light will help the team to realise their vision.

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery, founded in 1811, is the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery. It cares for and displays an outstanding collection of Old Master paintings within Sir John Soane’s pioneering architecture. As an independent gallery it pursues its founders’ purpose of presenting art ‘for the inspection of the public’ while engaging as many people as possible, of all ages and backgrounds, through a creative programme. Entering the gallery space visitors discover a surprising and contemplative experience that encourages the discovery of personal connections with historic works of art – a place to Find Yourself in Art.

Luminaires used

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