Ottawa artist's work to hang alongside Rembrandt

An Ottawa artist will soon have one of his paintings featured in an exhibition at Amsterdam's famed Rijksmuseum commemorating the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt.

Long Live Rembrandt exhibition opens July 15 in Amsterdam

Michael Goodson in his studio in Ottawa. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

An Ottawa artist will soon have one of his paintings featured in an exhibition at Amsterdam's famed Rijksmuseum commemorating the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt.

Michael Goodson's portrait of his father, Baroque Dad, was chosen to be part of an exhibition called Long Live Rembrandt — a survey of Rembrandt's continuing power to influence contemporary artists.

"It's surreal," said Goodson.

Earlier this year, the museum put out a call for artists to submit self-made artworks inspired by Rembrandt.

More than 8,000 people from 95 countries answered the call. That number was narrowed down to some 500. On July 15, Rembrandt's birthday, the finalists will be revealed. All Goodson knows is he's one of them. 

Goodson said it's especially gratifying, because he's always been fascinated by how Rembrandt created his memorable works and has made many pilgrimages to study the master's work first hand.

Ottawa artist to have work featured next to Rembrandt's

3 years ago
Duration 1:44
Local artist Michael Goodson, who was inspired by Rembrandt, will have his work featured in Amsterdam as part of an exhibition in honour of the famous 17th century artist .

Painting 'very warts-and-all'

"I'm the guy that the guard yells at to get it back further," said Goodson of his close inspections of Rembrandt's ability to create the illusion of three dimensionality.

"As if a human face were actually coming out of the canvas."

Last year Goodson painted a portrait of his father he called Baroque Dad, in attempt to "not replicate but learn from the technique of Rembrandt's late self-portraits."

His said his father's lack of vanity made him the perfect subject.

"He doesn't expect to be airbrushed or cleaned up or anything like," said Goodson. "He's happy to be painted as he is, much like Rembrandt's late self-portraits were very warts-and-all."

Goodson will be in Amsterdam for the July 15 opening of the exhibition.

"There will be Rembrandts in the next room, and then there will be my painting."

Michael Goodson's father Bob, standing next to his portrait. (Michael Goodson)


Sandra Abma


Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at


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