On the early foggy morning, while the streets of Amsterdam were still quiet and peaceful, two men were carrying a huge mirror. Their heavily breathing was the only sound that could be heard on a canal next to which they were walking. When they were right in the middle of the bridge to Rusland, one of them slipped, dropped the massive mirror and it broke into numerous pieces. After the loud crushing sound, they just looked at each other in disbelief. That was the mirror belonging to the famous painter Rembrandt who was using it for his self-portraits. And his son Titus just repurchased it after the celebrated painter went through the bankruptcy. And hired them to brought it back as a present for his father… Well, the mirror was broken now, and those two poor guys had to come with that news to Rembrandt.
This is just one of the stories related to the life of a painter Rembrandt van Rijn in Amsterdam. After researching his life in the Dutch capital for the last three years, organising numerous art tours in the Rijksmuseum and writing many articles about this famous Dutch painter, I have decided to create a self-guided tour that will help you in following the footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt in Amsterdam
Rembrandt is one of the most famous Dutch painters, and he lived most of his life in Amsterdam. Many places related to his life and work could still be seen in the city today. From the houses in which he lived in, homes of some of his clients to places where he has created some of his very famous paintings. There are still many documents, letters and drawings from his time, that are providing us with information about his life in the Dutch capital.
*Read More: Places related to Rembrandt in Amsterdam
I used to organize a walking tour during which we would be following the footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam. But, when I was recently contacted by the Clio Muse Tours and asked if I would like to create a self-guided tour with them, I couldn’t think of a better one than a self-guided tour dedicated to Rembrandt.
It’s so fascinating to me how Amsterdam hasn’t changed much since the time Rembrandt was living in it. From the gabled houses, romantic canals, to some Medieval churches and Dutch Golden Ages’ buildings. I could easily imagine him rushing along its streets to meet some new clients. Or talking with other artists from Amsterdam in front of De Waag building were the painters’ guild was.
His life is quite well documented, and it makes it easier to follow in Rembrandt’s footsteps in Amsterdam. When I was preparing this walking tour, I tried to include as many of those interesting places as possible. And to focus on ones, that are telling the story of Rembrandt’s life in Amsterdam in the best way.
How does the self-guided tour works?
So, what should you do to go on this self-guided tour in Amsterdam? You need to download the Clio Muse App to your phone first. Once you’ve done that, search for the ‘Following the Footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam‘ tour. After you’ll purchase it (the price of the tour is 11,99 EUR), you’ll be able to see the whole tour.
Once you have it on your phone, you can choose to either read the descriptions or listen to the tour (you’re actually going to listen to my voice). So, everything you need for it is your phone and a headset. There is a map you can easily follow and look for all of the locations related to Rembrandt in Amsterdam that way.
Where will the search for places related to Rembrandt in Amsterdam take you
Self-guided tour ‘Following the Footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam’ lasts for approximately one and a half hour. And you’re going to walk for some two kilometres (approx. 1,2 miles). You’re going to see thirteen locations related to the life of Rembrandt in Amsterdam along the way. And on each one of them, you’re going to hear stories from his life, about his paintings or people he was close with.
Tour starts at the Dam Square, where you can learn about how the life of painters from Rembrandt’s time looked like. You’ll continue then towards the old De Wallen neighbourhood, where many of Rembrandt’s clients lived. And where he painted many of his paintings. You will walk along the Kloveniersburgwal and will learn about some events from his life. You will hear about his wife Saskia and their children. But, also about some unfortunate events and tragedies that happened to him. You’ll also see where his famous ‘The Night Watch’ was first displayed. The self-guided tour and your search for places related to the life of Rembrandt in Amsterdam finish at the house where he lived during the twenty years of his life, today the Rembrandthuis Museum.
I’m so proud on this self-guided tour I’ve created and hope it will help many travellers coming to the Dutch capital in discovering places related to the life of Rembrandt in Amsterdam. There is so much history behind those beautiful canal houses. It would be a shame not to find it while visiting Amsterdam.
Do you have any questions about the ‘Following the Footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam’ self-guided tour? Feel free to ask them in the comments below!
Photos of me taking the self-guided tour: Dana Marin (Amsterdamian)