Explore ‘ALL THE REMBRANDTS’ Exhibition 2019 at the RijksmuseumBook a private tour of the Amsterdam's must-see exhibition of the year with an art historian.
‘All the Rembrandts’ at the Rijksmuseum in 2019
Discover the must-see exhibition of the year on a private tour with an art historian! In 2019, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is holding an exceptional exhibition dedicated to Rembrandt van Rijn — the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age.
2019 is the “Year of Rembrandt”, as it marks the 350th death anniversary of Holland’s leading national artist. To commemorate Rembrandt’s legacy, for the first time ever, the entire Rijksmuseum’s collection of Rembrandt’s works will be on display: 22 paintings, 60 drawings and about 300 of his finest prints.
On this in-depth private tour, we will follow the story of Rembrandt’s unparalleled artistic innovation — from his first works to his last masterpieces, including blockbusters like the Night Watch and the Jewish Bride. We will meet his models and explore his sources of inspiration. We will examine his exceptional technique and talk about the way he was perceived by his contemporaries.
Immerse yourself in Rembrandt’s intense and enigmatic world. Let yourself sink into the intimate relationship he creates with every individual — and the whole humankind.
All the Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum
15 February — 10 June 2019
Tour duration: 2 hours
Languages available: English, French and Russian
Museum tickets are not included in the price.
Please contact us to reserve your tour.
The Rembrandt Collection of the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum holds the world’s largest collection of Rembrandt paintings. It includes outstanding masterpieces like the Jewish Bride, the Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild, the Denial of St. Peter, the portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit and, of course, the symbol of both greatness and Dutchness in art – the Night Watch.
The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to discover Rembrandt as an artist and a storyteller through a variety of landscapes, portraits, nudes, scenes from daily life, biblical narratives and his world-famous self-portraits.
Rembrandt’s powers of invention and perception made him a celebrated painter in his own time. They also made him a virtuoso draftsman and the most innovative printmaker. The Rijksmuseum’s All the Rembrandts exhibition offers a chance to see some of his most famed etchings and drawings: Christ Preaching (the “Hundred Guilder Print”), The Three Crosses, and several portraits of Rembrandt’s mother. An opportunity not to miss, considering the rarity and fragility of many of these 17th-century prints and drawings.
‘All the Rembrandts’ Exhibition — a Story of a Life-Long Transformation
The Rijksmuseum’s impressive holding offers the most comprehensive and coherent overview of Rembrandt’s life and work.
The exhibition is organized around several themes. It encompasses all Rembrandt’s periods and styles and highlights his personal and artistic milestones.
The first section presents the key moments of Rembrandt’s early career. He abandoned his university studies to devote himself to painting. Born in the city of Leiden, the young ambitious artist moved to Amsterdam in 1631. Almost immediately, he expanded his business, became a burgess, acquired some students, and entered the lucrative market for portraiture – the genre for which he would become famous.
The second section of the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition is dedicated to the people in Rembrandt’s life. In his early years, he honed his craft by painting his mother, wife, and other relatives and acquaintances. But he was also fascinated by the wider world around him. He painted countless portraits of all sorts of people he encountered. His mixing with beggars and vagrants did raise a few eyebrows in Amsterdam’s respectable milieu…
The last part of the exhibition explores the rich universe of Rembrandt the storyteller. From his Catholic university studies and his training under Pieter Lastman, a painter who specialized in historical and biblical subjects, Rembrandt developed a passion for the tales from the Old and the New Testaments. As he experimented with saturating large areas with color and intense chiaroscuro,his biblical and mythological scenes achieve unprecedented psychological intensity.
Seen over his whole career, the changes in Rembrandt’s style are remarkable. The theatrical style of his early years gradually gave way to a more contemplative manner. His approach to composition, colors, space and light, his brushwork constantly changed – sometimes even within a single work. A clear turning point in his stylistic development was the Night Watch. This famous painting is a highlight of the exhibition and of the whole Rijksmuseum’s Golden Age collection. After All the Rembrandts, it will be restored in situ starting July 2019.
What is Rembrandt famous for?
A prolific painter, draftsman, and etcher, Rembrandt (1606-1669) is recognized as one of the world’s most distinguished painters, and the greatest artist of the Dutch Golden Age. The entire Rijksmuseum was designed, in the late 19th century, around Rembrandt’s masterpieces
Some critics claimed that Rembrandt preferred ugliness to beauty. He actually preferred neither. Ugly and gorgeous, young and old, tramps and bigwigs: Rembrandt was fascinated by the endless variety of human characters, expressions, and appearances. He was a champion of direct observation and intransigent realism. Exceptional even by Dutch standards!
No surprise that from his early days, Rembrandt had a unique love for human faces. We don’t know exactly how many portraits and self-portraits he produced, in addition to an impressive amount of human figures in his historical, mythological and biblical paintings. He possessed a startling ability to render people in different moods and dramatic guises.
This theatrality is enhanced by his breathtaking use of light and shade. Rembrandt is a true master of Baroque, inspired by Caravaggio, Titian, and Rubens. But before we venture too far into art history geekiness – we’ll save that for the tour -, let’s just say that he was, without a doubt, one of the greatest storytellers in the history of art. And that’s what makes him so intimately appealing to experts and amateurs alike.
Did Rembrandt die poor?
According to the legend that evolved after his death, Rembrandt died poor and misunderstood. It isn’t exactly true. In Holland, eventually, new tastes and fashions did make his style unpopular in the second half of the 17th century, but his international reputation among collectors and connoisseurs never ceased to grow. He continued to inspire Venetian and German artists in the 18th century, was venerated by the Romantic artists, and received an extra boost of admiration from American collectors at the end of the 19th century. Ever since, Rembrandt is regarded as one of the greatest figures in art worldwide.
A few fun facts about Rembrandt… at the Rijksmuseum and beyond
- The number of paintings attributed to Rembrandt went from some 600-650 in the first half of the 20thcentury to around 250 in the 1970-1990s, then bounced back to about 340 today.
- Vincent van Gogh greatly admired Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride at the Rijksmuseum. He said that he would have given ten years of his life just to stay sitting in front of the painting for two weeks.
- The only seascape by Rembrandt, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633), was stolen in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston by two thieves disguised in police officers. It has been lost ever since.
- One of the best portraits by Rembrandt, the portrait of his friend Jan Six – art collector, writer, and Amsterdam mayor – can be seen in the private Six Collection in Amsterdam. This unique collection, housed in the Six family mansion on the Amstel river, offers a unique glimpse into the life of the Dutch wealthy aristocratic family. The visit is free, upon request submitted through the official website (the waiting list is up to several months).
- The theme song of the sitcom Friends was written and performed by the band The Rembrandts – and no, the name is not a coincidence.
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