Bluetooth puts Rembrandt in a dramatic light

A BLUETOOTH lighting system designed by Star Wars cinematographer Peter Suschitzky is illuminating works by Rembrandt at a leading London gallery.
 

Arranged thematically, the exhibition traces Rembrandt’s mastery of light and shadow

The Rembrandt’s Light exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery features 35 of the Old Master’s greatest paintings, etchings and drawings and marks the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1669.

Arranged thematically, the exhibition traces Rembrandt’s mastery of light and shadow, revealing how he used it both for dramatic effect, from evoking different moods in religious and mythological stories, to depicting raw human emotion.

The exhibition showcases a new LED Bluetooth lighting system at the Gallery, and cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, famed for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes BackThe Rocky Horror Picture Show and Mars Attacks!, worked with the curators to devise an atmospheric visitor experience with light.

Through carefully constructed lighting and innovative design, the exhibition spaces reflect the variety of Rembrandt’s work, from high-drama and theatricality to the contemplative and spiritual.

This approach takes inspiration from Rembrandt’s own words in a letter of 1639, when he asked a new owner of one of his paintings to: ‘hang this piece in a strong light and where one can stand at a distance, so it will sparkle at its best’.

‘Manipulating Light’, the second section of the show, transports visitors to Rembrandt’s workshop, as witnessed in his drawing The Artist’s Studio, c.1659 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).

The means by which Rembrandt evoked day and night will be explored in etchings from the Rembrandt House Museum including Student at a Table by Candlelight, c.1642 and Woman with an Arrow c.1661, as well as his only surviving nocturnal painting, Landscape with the Rest on the flight into Egypt, 1647 (National Gallery of Ireland).

‘Rembrandt seems to me to have been striving to find a universal truth in the human condition and used light to create motion and emotion,’ says Suschitzky.

‘This parallels cinematography, where sculpting light and directing the gaze of the viewer to the desired place in an image is essential for powerful storytelling.’

 

  • Learn more about Bluetooth lighting control at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition at ExCeL London, taking place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November. For more information or to register, click HERE.