2019 is quite a special year in the art world. We’re celebrating the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn’s death. There are still many places related to Rembrandt in the Netherlands that could be seen and visited today. To celebrate a famous Dutch painter, many special exhibitions, events and art tours are going to be organised this year. And here is a list with all of them.
Who was Rembrandt?
Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the best known Dutch painters. He lived during the most prosperous time of Dutch history, during its Golden Ages. He became famous, very young, and because of his great painting skills, other painters were calling him a ‘Miracle of our time’. On his paintings, Rembrandt was mostly portraying wealthy Dutch merchants during the 17th Century.
His most famous painting is ‘The Night Watch’. He started it in 1639 and has worked on it during the next three years. Rembrandt received quite an excellent pay for it – 1,600 guilders (an average annual craftsman wage at that time would be around 300 guilders).
Although, today is famous for his paintings, during his lifetime he was more well known as an etcher. He is one of the first artists who started to create an art of it.
Rembrandt in Amsterdam
Rembrandt spent most of his career as a painter in Amsterdam. Many places related to his life and work could still be seen around the city. From houses in which he was living in, places where he was creating his paintings until the churches in which he got married or baptised his children.
Rembrandt’s etchings and drawings are such an excellent and essential document of the life in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Ages. We know how many places in the city used to look like because of his drawings. Although showing wealthy Dutch people on his paintings, he focused more on everyday life scenes and poorer people living in Amsterdam on his etchings. Besides being a fantastic painter, he definitely had an essential role in documenting life in Amsterdam during his time.
Self guided tour: Following the footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam
If you would like to walk into the footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam, you can take a self-guided tour I have created and visited many places somehow related to him in the city.
You’re going to start your walk at the Dam Square. And during the next hour and a half, you will be walking through De Wallen and the old Jewish District in Amsterdam. These are the neighbourhoods in which Rembrandt used to live. During your walk, you’re going to see places where he has created some of his very famous paintings, houses where he lived and homes of some of his clients.
For more info about the self-guided tour ‘Following the Footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam’ take a look here.
Rembrandt colouring postcards
To get even a better idea of how Amsterdam and those places related to Rembrandt used to look like in his time, I have created a set of seven colouring postcards ‘Rembrandt in Amsterdam’. On each of those cards, there is a drawing of a place related to Rembrandt in Amsterdam and a short line about how is it linked to him. You can order them before your visit and look for those places once you arrive. Each set contains a list of addresses of those locations that will make your search for them much easier. You can order your set on a link here.
Exhibitions dedicated to Rembrandt in the Netherlands in 2019
There are so many exhibitions and special events organised during the 2019 in order to celebrate the year of Rembrandt in the Netherlands. Many museums are displaying his paintings and drawings that are usually not on a display. So, this is your chance to see some of them.
Rembrandt Exhibitions in Amsterdam
# – Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)
*All the Rembrandts
Guys from the Rijksmuseum have decided to celebrate Rembrandt by displaying all of his paintings, drawings and etchings they have in their collection. The result is a wonderful and a unique exhibition on which many of his rare work could be seen. Exhibition is quite popular, so if you would like to visit it book your time slot on a link here (even though if you have a Museumkaart).
Dates: February 15th – June 10th 2019 / Online tickets
*’The Night Watch’ Restoration
‘The Night Watch’, one of the most famous Rembrandt’s painting, is ready for the next restoration. It’s not the first time it’s going to be restored. But, this time, it’s going to be done in front of the public. While restaurateurs are going to work on the famous painting, all the visitors are going to be able to take a look at it. And see how the restoration is actually done.
Dates: Starts July 2019 / Online tickets
*Rembrandt – Velazquez Exhibition
Because of a special collaboration between the Rijksmuseum and Museo del Prado from Madrid, paintings created by these two famous 17th century painters will be on a display side by side. During the autumn exhibition, work of two paintings could be compared.
Dates: October 11th 2019 – January 19th 2020 / Online tickets
# – Rembrandthuis Museum
One of my favourite museums in Amsterdam, the Rembrandthuis Museum is a place anyone willing to learn more about Rembrandt in the Netherlands should visit. It’s a place where he lived between 1639 and 1656. Interior of the house is very well preserved, so you can get a good idea of how it used to look like in a time of Rembrandt. And although you won’t see many of his paintings, you can see the majority of his drawings and etchings on display there.
*Rembrandt’s Social Network
This great exhibition is focusing on Rembrandt’s friends, family, acquaintances and people he was surrounded with during his life. All of them influenced him in some way. You can learn more about all of those people and their influence on Rembrandt in the Netherlands, at this special exhibition organised at the Rembrandthuis Museum.
Dates: February 1st – May 19th 2019 / Online tickets
*Inspired by Rembrandt
Since it was opened in 1911, Rembrandthuis Museum is collecting art inspired by Rembrandt, as well. And they have used the opportunity of 2019 being a year of Rembrandt in the Netherlands, to showcase some of the work they have collected throughout the years.
Dates: June 7th – September 1st 2019 / Online tickets
In order to research more of Rembrandt’s techniques, pigments and materials, a special laboratory is going to be created in the Rembrandthuis Museum at the end of the year. It looks like it’s going to be a great place to learn more about a way Rembrandt was working on his paintings.
Dates: September 21st – February 16th 2020 / Online tickets
# – Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam
*St. Peter in Prison
Israel Museum from Jerusalem is going to lend a famous painting created by Rembrandt, ‘St. Peter in Prison’ to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. It’s going to be on display from September 13th, 2019. It’s going to be on display for the first time in one of the Dutch museums, so it’s an important event related to Rembrandt in the Netherlands.
Dates: Starts September 13th 2019/ Online tickets
Rembrandt Exhibitions in Leiden
Rembrandt was born in Leiden and have spent his childhood and first years as a painter there. His house could still be seen there (although, only from the outside). There is a self-guided walk called ‘In the footsteps of the Young Rembrandt’ you can get in the local tourist office. And during it, you can visit some of the places related to his life in Leiden. However, if you’re going to visit it, be sure to take a look at some exhibitions and events related to Rembrandt in Leiden.
*Young Rembrandt Studio
In the 17th Century house in which Rembrandt learned how to paint from his teacher Jacob van Swenenburgh, there is a special 7 minutes long video that will help you understand his life in Leiden, people from whom he learned and his development as a painter.
*The Leiden Rembrandt Days
On the weekend of July 13th and 14th, the Pieterswijk is going to be transformed into a street from the time of Rembrandt. People dressed in clothes from the 17th Century will give you an idea of how Leiden looked like back in a time when the famous painter lived there. You can get more info on their Facebook Page.
*‘Young Rembrandt’ at Museum De Lakenhal
There’s no better place to organise an exhibition about young Rembrandt, than in a town where he has spent his youth. They are going to exhibit his early work and give an insight to the visitors into how he became a famous painter he is today.
Dates: November 3rd 2019 – February 9th 2020
Rembrandt Exhibitions in Den Haag
# – Mauritshuis (Den Haag)
*Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis
Between January 31st and September 15th, eighteen Rembrandt’s paintings from the Mauritshuis collection are going to be on display in a museum. Their origin, the way they came to the collection and even a new attribution (not all of them are considered to be painted by Rembrandt anymore) are going to be explained. The most famous painting Mauritshuis is home to is his ‘Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp’, so if you haven’t seen it before, now is a good chance.
Dates: January 31st – September 15th 2019 / Online tickets
During the summer holidays, Mauritshuis is going to held some activities for children during which they could learn more about Rembrandt. From the interactive presentations, videos and painting workshops, there’s going to be many things organised between July 20th and September 15th.
Dates: July 20th – September 15th 2019 / Online agenda and tickets
You can still find so many places related to Rembrandt in the Netherlands (especially in Amsterdam and Leiden). And with all the special exhibitions and events organised in 2019, to celebrate the year of Rembrandt, you’ll have a chance to learn a lot about this famous Dutch painter.
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