For one afternoon only, members of the Smith community—and the broader general public—will have a special opportunity to view three extraordinary prints of Rembrandt’s Three Crosses, Christ Crucified Between the Two Thieves.
The one-day display—to be held from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, in the Cunningham Study Center, Smith College Museum of Art—offers viewers the first opportunity to examine the third- and fifth-state prints of Rembrandt’s Three Crosses, which were given to the Smith College Museum of Art in late 2017 by Mary Gordon Roberts, class of 1960.
Judged to be among the highest quality of the limited number still in existence, the two newly acquired prints will be exhibited alongside a fourth-state print that was purchased for the Smith College Museum of Art in 1911 by the Smith Studio Club, a student group.
“To see these three prints—each of the highest quality—side by side in one location offers insight into the vision and process of one of the world’s great artists,” said Henriette Kets de Vries, an assistant curator at SMCA and manager of the museum’s Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs. “We’re delighted to be able to provide this early glimpse at these remarkable works before undertaking a more thorough exhibition in the future.”
Rembrandt intensively worked and reworked the composition of The Three Crosses, experimenting with different types of paper, vellum and inking variations. Four versions, or “states,” of The Three Crosses were produced during Rembrandt’s lifespan, with a fifth state printed after the artist’s death.