By Jenna Berndt
2019 has been declared the ‘Year of Rembrandt’ and marks 350 years since the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch master painter and one of the world’s most renowned artists. Rembrandt is described as the first proper ‘Instagrammer’ because his works so accurately depict everyday life.
Because of the delicacy of his works on paper, many are only very rarely displayed to the public. So, this year, when museums unveil their collections (not likely ever to be repeated), is not to be missed.
Journey into the golden age of the Netherlands by following in Rembrandt’s footsteps.
Amsterdam – the city of Rembrandt
You only need to see the city of Amsterdam bathed in early morning or afternoon light or reflected in the water of the city’s canals to understand why so many artists chose to perfect their art in Netherlands’ capital.
“Immersing themselves in the bicycle-filled streets of Amsterdam, travellers will soon discover just why Rembrandt, and many other artists and creatives after him, were so inspired by this beautiful city,” says Teresa Richardson, Managing Director of The Travel Corporation South Africa.
Rembrandt spent most of his life in Amsterdam during its ‘Golden Age’ when it was Europe’s wealthiest city. Today, the renowned Museum District houses many of the artist’s most iconic pieces.
This grand museum is located in the city’s Museum Square district and houses the world’s largest collection of Rembrandt’s works.
- All the Rembrandts exhibition runs till 10 June 2019 and will showcase the museum’s entire collection, for the first time. Rare and fragile drawings and prints from the museum archives that are not usually displayed, will also be shown.
- Visit in July to see The Night Watch, another famous work, being restored (the painting will be placed inside a glass chamber so viewers can actually watch the restorer at work).
- Guests travelling on a Trafalgar guided holiday, such as the Amsterdam in-depth itinerary, that immerses guests into Amsterdam and its surrounds, can also enjoy the benefits of a small group guided visit to the popular Rijksmuseum.
- The museum will provide maps of various self-guided ‘art trails’ throughout the city that follow in Rembrandt’s footsteps.
The Rembrandt House Museum
The building where Rembrandt lived for most of his life is nestled in Amsterdam’s old Jewish Quarter and has been converted into a museum showcasing his life and art.
- The Inspired by Rembrandt exhibition runs from 7 June to 1 September 2019.
- Learn about modern-day restoration techniques at the Laboratory Rembrandt exhibition in the artist’s former workshop, open until 16 February 2020.
Jewish Historical Museum
On loan from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the museum will display Rembrandt’s St. Peter in Prison, painted in 1631. This is the key piece around which an exhibition, from 13 September to 10 November 2019, will be based.
Leiden – the birthplace of Rembrandt
Rembrandt was born in the city of Leiden, south of Amsterdam, in 1606. The city is famous for its university, the country’s oldest, and its botanical garden, which first introduced the country’s most famous flower, the tulip, to Western Europe.
The Museum de Lakenhal is currently closed for renovation but when it opens later this year, it will house a Young Rembrandt exhibition, from 3 November 2019 until 9 February 2020, exploring only the early works of the Dutch master.
Head outdoors to appreciate the city on a self-guided Leiden Rembrandt Trail taking visitors past key sites in the painter’s life.
The seat of the country’s politics and royal family, and home to the UN’s International Court of Justice, the Hague is an art lover’s dream, with museums, historical buildings and royal parks aplenty. The Mauritshuis Museum, dedicated to the Dutch Golden Age, will show its entire Rembrandt collection, for the first time ever, until 15 September 2019.
Outside of the great and grand museums, the Netherlands is such a part of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age. Just like the great master’s works of art, which are unique and rare, journey to the land of Rembrandt in 2019 and open your eyes to new art and beauty.