'Breathtaking' Rembrandt painting comes to Newtown’s Oriel Davies gallery

A Rembrandt painting, which is almost 400 years old, has been moved from the National Gallery in London to be displayed at Newtown’s Oriel Davies gallery.

Rembrandt van Rijn is a world-renowned Dutch painter, who found fame during the early 1630s. He is most well-known for his depiction of light and shade.

Kate Morgan-Clare, the Creative Producer at the Oriel Davies said, “The way that he handles the paint and light are just incredible, it’s a real pleasure to stand and look at it”.

Painted in 1635, the woman in the painting has traditionally been identified as Rembrandt’s wife Saskia van Uylenburgh in Arcadian dress.

Arcadia is said to be "an imagined place of rustic seclusion, unspoiled by the corrupting forces of civilisation, where shepherds, nymphs and demi-gods live in harmony with nature."

The Oriel Davies gallery said the painting has been given many different titles.

"Some regard it as a depiction of Flora, the Roman goddess of Spring, others identify an idealised shepherdess, dressed in Arcadian fashions.

"It may be that Rembrandt was consciously drawing on different traditions and purposefully leaving ambiguity in the final work.

"Fascinated by costume, Rembrandt chose to paint many of his sitters in theatrical, historic and even entirely imaginary garments, throughout his career."

The painting will be on display until the end of June.

Carol Naden, from the gallery, said, “A lot of people have heard about it and know it’s here, and some just happen to walk in and do a double-take”.

The painting finds its temporary home in Newtown as part of the National Gallery’s Masterpiece tour, which aims to exhibit to ‘Old Master’ paintings to audiences across the UK.

The painting will be displayed for public viewing at Newtown’s Oriel Davies gallery until 26 June 2022.