Rembrandt House Museum – Go back in time with Rembrandt

Rembrandt House Museum – Go back in time with Rembrandt

Step back into history

and experience how Rembrandt and 17th century Amsterdam lived. See

Rembrandt’s paintings, drawings and etchings and watch how he mixed his paints

and made his etchings. Located in the old city centre this is a reconstruction

of the famous Dutch painters house and not the place to see his masterpieces.

All in all it makes an interesting and educational outing for all ages.

Go back in time with Rembrandt

It’s not just a museum it’s a reconstruction of

this famous artists home, his private space and a step back into history; all

set in a 17th century house. Experience the conditions in which one

of Holland’s most notable people lived and worked in. It’s one thing walking

through a big gallery-like museum admiring artful masterpieces connoting fame

and fortune but another to witness the actual surroundings in which these

famous artists worked and lived in, it’s so much more eye opening.

When I decided to visit the Rembrandt House

Museum I didn’t know much about it and I did think I’d see some of his most

famous work but that’s not what this museum is about. I was a tad disappointed

about that but the visit was well worth it in the end. We were able to go back

in time and live in 17th century Amsterdam and in Rembrandt’s house.

This museum makes an ideal outing for fans of

Rembrandt, those interested in the history of art or even just history in

general. One of the most interesting parts of the visit was the demonstrations

on how Rembrandt made his etchings and prepared his paint. Rembrandt enjoyed

etching and so had his own press room in the house which you can see on the top

floor along with a collection of his original etchings. Demonstrations are on

every day in Rembrandt’s printing room and will tell you everything about the

etching technique, the printing process and answer any questions about graphic

art. The print preparation demonstrations are in Rembrandt’s studio every day

and show you how paint was made in Rembrandt’s time as you watch the pigments

and oil turn into coloured paints right before your eyes.

Located in the old city centre in the

Nieuwmarkt and Lastage district, the museum is a short walk away from many of

the other famed city attractions and areas such as China Town, the Red Light

District, Dam Square, Rembrandt Square and Artis Zoo. Rembrandt lived and

worked in this then new house from 1639 to 1658. As you stand in front of it

you will notice the modern annex to the left which is a new addition to the

museum.

On entrance you are given an audio guide which

is very informative throughout the tour of the house. The museum is very

educational teaching you how Rembrandt affected life in Amsterdam and vice

versa, and giving you an insight into art in that period. You also get to learn

about his history and his financial hardships. The paintings have descriptions

so that you can learn more about each one and the tour explains painting

techniques. In the attic are a studio and various private collections of

oddities. There is a special discovery trail tour for children during which

they can learn to look at details in the room, think about aspects of 17th

century life in the Netherlands and learn to look at works of art. In addition

there is also an audio tour specially for children which is available in

different languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and

Russian.

Alongside being an artist Rembrandt was also an

art dealer and the front room functioned as a gallery where he did his

business. It was interesting to see his house and some of the objects he used

as subjects in his paintings and drawings. In total during his time he produced

around three hundred paintings, three hundred etchings and two thousand

drawings. He also used the people in his life as subjects; his wife, son and

mistresses.

The house

The Rembrandt House in that time was in a new and

expensive neighbourhood which Rembrandt, although quite established by then,

could not afford entirely so his mortgage agreement included instalment

payments. Having not met all the payments forced him into great debt and

finally into bankruptcy. All the belongings were sold and the house was

occupied by other tenants while Rembrandt moved into a smaller place by the

Rozengracht canal. Eventually the City of Amsterdam bought the building in the

20th century and shortly after handed it to the Stitching

Rembrandthuis foundation. The museum didn’t resemble Rembrandt’s house until 1999.

Inventories and Rembrandt’s drawings and etchings were all used to reconstruct the

rooms. Now the museum is even bigger and includes the house next door.

One of the quirkiest things we got to learn was

why Dutch box beds were short: not because people were shorter but because they

believed that you should sleep propped up by pillows as lying flat could cause

bad consequences such as death through blood rushing to your head. There wasn’t

anything that we didn’t like; it was just really interesting to visit a museum

that’s so intimate and informative, not just about the painter but about life

in the 17th century in relation to art

. But remember, if you only want to see his masterpieces such as

The Night Watch, The Jewish Bride and

The Syndics then go to the Rijksmuseum! The

Rembrandt House Museum however does have many great pieces of art such as

Portrait of Jan Six who was to become

mayor of Amsterdam in his later years.

Events at Rembrandt’s

House

The museum can be used for events such as

dinners, lectures or presentations. The museum areas are accessible for guests

with or without a guide while the event itself takes place in the auditorium

which is in the new wing of the museum. Events can be booked for any day of the

week and can run between 5.30 PM to 11 PM. Catering is also supplied at extra

cost.

Just a couple of tips

·

If

you book your tickets online through the Rembrandt House Museum site the

entrance fee is cheaper by 2, 50 Euros for adults and 1 Euro for children.

·

Amsterdam

is filled with many museums and if you plan on visiting at least four during

your stay then it may prove more cost effective to purchase a Museum Card which

allows free or discounted entry but you should always check that this includes

the museums that you want to visit before you buy.

Opening hours and fees

The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Closed on New Year’s Day, Queen’s Day (30 April) and Christmas Day.

Adults: 12, 50 Euros (10, 00 Euros if booked

online)

Children age 6 to 17: 4, 00 Euros (3, 00 Euros

if booked online)

Entrance is free to those with a Museum Card or

the I Amsterdam City Card

Address

Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK

Amsterdam

0031 20 520

0400

www.rembrandthuis.nl

Getting there

About fifteen minutes on foot from

our apartments around Dam Square and even quicker from our short stay apartments

in the Rembrandt Square and Red Light District areas.

Nearest Tram station is Waterlooplein, lines 9

and 14.