Rembrandt Reproduced in Amsterdam

Heather Tucker, maandag 3 juni 2013

“What kind of response has there been to the exhibition?”

“Quite a positive one. Many people are coming back for a second visit, especially since there is so much to see.”

I was standing in the first room of Re:mbrandt All His Paintings, an exhibition located in the basement of Amsterdam’s Magna Plaza. The mention of needing a second visit to take in all the images inside made me chuckle slightly and think that these second timers must be museum light-weights. Little did I know...

Inside the exhibition are around 350 reproduced images, most of them Rembrandt’s. Each is spaced out on walls that vary in colour from maroon to blue to dark grey and even teal.  Strategically placed amongst the images are information boards containing the usual identifying details found in art galleries together with knowledge boards (e.g. Light, Shadow and Colour) giving the viewer just enough information to help them appreciate what they are viewing but not too much to encourage them to fall asleep standing up.

The images that make up Re:mbrandt All His Paintings are quite unique in that each and every one of them is a high quality, life sized reproduction. “But why would you want to look at reproductions?” I can almost hear some of you shout. This is a good question, and one that I also wondered.

However, the images that make up the exhibition allow you four distinct advantages. Firstly, you can view paintings that are not normally seen because they are in private collections. Secondly, you can view reproductions of Rembrandt’s stolen paintings – and yes there are actually a couple of those. The third advantage is being able to see what damaged paintings used to look like. And fourthly, the exhibition allows you to see paintings that are spread all around the world - in one place, i.e. Amsterdam. In fact it works so well that the exhibition can even display the works in chronological order and in series.

But what would Rembrandt think of it all? My guide had an answer. “Rembrandt would have liked it as he thought his ‘inventions’ should be given wide distribution.”

Halfway through the exhibition is a small video that goes into more detail about some of the images that do not have as much information with them as others do. It is well worth it to stop and watch. Not just because it is interesting but also to provide you with a bit of a rest before seeing the second half of the exhibition, including the world renowned Night Watch.

As the twists and turns continued to lead to more and more images I began to understand why a second visit was useful. 350 images is a whole lot of images, especially when they are presented as well as they are and with as much interesting information as there is at Re:mbrandt All His Paintings.