Linda and Daniel Bader have donated Rembrandt’s Head of an Old Man with Curly Hair to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in honour of Daniel’s late father, Alfred Bader (BSc’45, BA’46, MSc’47, LLD’86).Dr. Bader died Dec. 23, 2018.“Head of an Old Man with Curly Hair was one of my father’s favourite paintings,” says Daniel Bader. “It hung in his living room, where he spent hours admiring it, until he gave it to me in 2001. My wife Linda and I are proud to present this beautiful painting to Queen’s in my father’s honour.”
The Agnes now holds four of the seven authenticated paintings by Rembrandt in public Canadian collections. Head of an Old Man with Curly Hair is a beautiful example of the artist’s ability to render the expressiveness of the human face. It is signed and dated 1659, one year after the date of the Agnes’s Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo, donated by Alfred and Isabel Bader in 2015. That large-scale portrait and this smaller character study exemplify the master’s painterly range in terms of brushstroke, palette, and composition in his late career.
The painting was unveiled at the Agnes on May 3, during its season launch, and remains on view in The Bader Gallery.
Dr Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Bader Curator and Researcher of European Art at Agnes, reflected on the impact of this generous gift saying, “The donation of Rembrandt van Rijn’s Head of an Old Man with Curly Hair by Linda and Daniel Bader is an extraordinary gesture. Not only is the work an exquisite rendering of old age and light that complements the three Rembrandt paintings in The Bader Collection, but its presentation to the Agnes honours Alfred’s memory in a tremendously appropriate manner.”
The Bader Collection comprises more than 200 paintings spanning the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, with a focus on Dutch and Flemish paintings of the Baroque era.
“This painting extends the impact of The Bader Collection at Queen’s in powerful ways,” says Jan Allen, director of the Agnes. “Thanks to the generosity and thoughtfulness of Linda and Daniel Bader, this outstanding painting will be available for present and future generations.”
The August issue of the Review will feature a longer story about the painting. In our 2016 cover story, “Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo: the story behind the portrait,” Dr. Coutré explored the evolution of Rembrandt’s painting technique and the triumph of the artist to overcome both personal and professional adversity. Read the story online.