Nowhere in the world can you see 57 paintings by Dutch master painter Rembrandt in one place - except in Foxton.

While the pictures are digitally remastered versions of the priceless originals, they are nevertheless an incredible experience.

Lifesize and cleverly remastered to show the true colours, as they would have looked when they left Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn's Amsterdam studio nearly 400 years ago, the pictures are part of a large, international project.

The latest digital restoration techniques have been paired with the extensive Rembrandt studies of international art expert Professor Ernst van de Wetering to create the exhibition, which has been curated by Australasia's foremost Rembrandt specialist, Auckland University head of art history Dr Erin Griffey.


The works for the New Zealand tour, of which Foxton is the last destination of 13, were printed on vast sheets of aluminium by Wellington printing companies that created 3D printed props and scenery for film projects such as The Hobbit.

They are of such detail and quality that individual brushstrokes visually pop and the luminescent colours and highlights Rembrandt originally painted, but which have long since faded, can be seen again.

Photographic cataloguing of Rembrandts works, scattered across about 80 countries, began in the 1960s, with almost half of the 600 or so known paintings proving to be fake.

Around 350 were verified as genuine, bringing disappointment to many people who thought they owned a Rembrandt.

Later, as digital techniques were developed, the concept of remastering versions of the paintings arose, culminating in a large Amsterdam-based exhibition, of which the New Zealand tour is an offshoot.

Two of the original Rembrandt paintings were stolen after they had been duplicated and remastered, meaning the copies now featuring in the exhibition are the only way they can now be seen lifesize and in their full glory, as it is unknown what has happened to the originals.

The exhibition is at Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom cultural centre and library in Foxton, which houses Oranjehof, New Zealand's national Dutch museum.

It was opened on Friday at a special gala attended by organisers, guests and Dutch Ambassador Mira Woldberg.


Rembrandt Remastered runs until Sunday April 28. Admission is $5 per adult, $2 for Libraries Horowhenua cardholders and free for under-16s accompanied by an adult, or for Horowhenua school group visits organised through teachers.