A NEW exhibition at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum should give hope to any young artist struggling for recognition.

Young Rembrandt, which opens to the public on Thursday, gives an insight into the early life of the Dutch master and his first decade of work. But instead of solely celebrating the excellence of the pictures on show, this fascinating display is keen to point out how bad his early pictures were.

The show, which runs until June 7, shows how Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn graduated from a painter of dubious talent to one of the most celebrated artists of all time.

It covers his time in what is now Oxford’s twin town, Leiden as well as Amsterdam.

It is jointly curated by the museum’s Curator of Northern European Art, An Van Camp, and the former director of the Ashmolean, Prof Christopher Brown, who said: “In his early paintings, prints and drawings, we find a young artist exploring his own style, grappling with technical difficulties and making mistakes, but his progress is remarkable and the works in this exhibition demonstrate an amazing development from year to year.”

The museum invited a handful of guests to inspect the pictures this morning.

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Unfortunately, the weather put paid to the arrival of one VIP – Dr Christiaan Vogelaar of Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden, who curated the show when it was held at Leiden and is one of the authors in the catalogue.

He was unable to fly from the Netherlands because of high winds.

See Wednesday's Oxford Mail and Thursday's Oxford Times for more.