350 years of Rembrandt and the Golden Age

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Rembrandt van Rijn is one of Holland’s most beloved artists, a prolific and innovative master painter, printmaker and draughtsman. Generally considered as one of the world’s great artists, Rembrandt was working at a time of significant wealth and wisdom in the 17th century, an era known as the Dutch Golden Age. In 2019, it will be 350 years since he died and his life and heritage will be celebrated with exhibitions throughout Holland, from Middelburg to Leeuwarden.

  • Holland’s museums mark 350 years since the death of Rembrandt.
  • Learn about the cities of the Dutch Golden Age and the impact of that wealth and development on Rembrandt and his artistic peers.
  • Visit insightful and expansive exhibitions inspired by Rembrandt and the Golden Age throughout 2019.

Rembrandt’s masterful touch in the spotlight

Born in Leiden in 1606, Rembrandt spent his formative years training in the art of painting. In 1624 he set up his own studio before moving to Amsterdam in 1631, a period covered in the ‘Young Rembrandt’ exhibition at Leiden’s Museum de Lakenhal. What set Rembrandt apart was his wide range of subject matter, including portraits and self-portraits, landscapes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes, and animal studies. Though influenced by the work of the Italian masters, Rembrandt never left the then Dutch Republic, which at the time was flush with wealth and highly acclaimed for its advances in trade, science, the military and art, particularly painting. Today, visitors from around the world flock to museums in Holland to experience his most famous works in person.

Navigate the Dutch Golden Age and discover a seafaring nation

Blossoming trade in Europe and afar, scientific developments that shaped the world, a military with might and a string of achievements in the arts, the Dutch Republic was a force to be reckoned with. Its significant maritime and economic power, and contribution to the arts in the period spanning the 17th century is the focus of a year-long celebration in the major Dutch cities of the Golden Age throughout 2019. So grab this chance to explore the lasting legacy this flourishing period has had on Holland. After all, it was during this time that the Dutch East India Company formed (the first company to ever list on an official stock exchange), that new genres and subjects in painting evolved, and that major technical advancements were made. It comes as no surprise then that an array of exhibitions will celebrate all the wonder of that golden era.

Visit eye-opening exhibitions from north to south

With a special focus on Rembrandt 350 years after his death, exhibitions in Amsterdam, Delft, Dordrecht, Haarlem, Hoorn and Enkhuizen, Leiden, Middelburg and The Hague will present a range of perspectives on this formidable Dutch master, his peers (including Pieter de Hooch at Museum Prinsenhof in Delft, and Nicolaes Maes at the Mauritshuis), and diverse works from this golden age of wealth and wonder.

The year-long programme provides an extraordinary opportunity to explore Holland too. Think paintings on loan or never shown in the Netherlands, such as items from Jerusalem’s Israel Museum at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. Or the Frans Hals Museum’s significant collection of 17th century paintings in Haarlem, and a water-themed exhibition at the Westfries Museum in Hoorn. These exhibitions provide a fascinating insight into this rich period and into Rembrandt, with some works rarely, if ever, seen traveling from across the globe.

There is no other place in the world that has as many works by Rembrandt as the Rijksmuseum. In 2019, its complete collection of Rembrandts will be on display simultaneously for the first time: 22 paintings, 60 drawings, and 300 engravings. The exhibition represents a perfect opportunity to learn more about his pioneering techniques and innovative ideas. When in Amsterdam, you should also visit the Rembrandthuis. His former residence will organize three exhibitions revolving around the master in the theme year: Rembrandt’s Social Network with works never before seen in Holland, Inspired by Rembrandt, and The Rembrandt Laboratory.

Where and when: all the Rembrandt & the Golden Age exhibitions

Amsterdam

  • Rembrandt Privé, Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 7 december 2018 - 7 april 2019
  • Rembrandt’s Social Network, Rembrandt House Museum, 1 February - 19 May 2019
  • All the Rembrandts, Rijksmuseum, 15 February - 10 June 2019
  • Inspired by Rembrandt, Rembrandt House Museum, 7 June - 1 September 2019
  • Laboratorium Rembrandt, Rembrandt House Museum, 21 September 2019 - 16 February 2020
  • Rembrandt-Velázquez, Rijksmuseum, 11 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

Delft

  • Pieter de Hooch, Delft Master of the Dutch Golden Age, Museum Prinsenhof, 11 October 2019 - 16 February 2020

Dordrecht

  • Work, Pray, Admire, Dordrechts Museum, November 2018 - May 2019

Haarlem

  • Frans Hals and the Moderns, Frans Hals Museum, 12 October 2018 - 10 February 2019

Hoorn & Enkhuizen

  • Cool waters, Westfries Museum Hoorn, 26 October 2019 - 26 January 2020

Leiden

  • Young Rembrandt, Museum de Lakenhal, 3 November 2019 - 9 February 2020

Leeuwarden

  • Rembrandt and Saskia: Love in the Golden Age, Fries Museum, 24 November 2018 - 7 March 2019

Middelburg

  • Golden Age Tour, Zeeuws Museum, 1 January - 31 December 2018

The Hague

  • Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. Man, Might And Murder, Haags Historisch Museum, 1 December 2018 - 14 April 2019
  • Rembrandt at the Mauritshuis, 31 January - 15 September 2019
  • Representation of Johan Maurits, Mauritshuis, 4 April - 7 July 2019
  • The Golden Age In The Hague, Haags Historisch Museum, 28 April - 8 September 2019
  • Nicolaes Maes, Mauritshuis, 17 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

    Accommodation tips

    Book your stay in the heart of historic Leiden and look out upon the city where young Rembrandt lived.

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    Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, visit the cities of the Dutch Golden Age to get a true feel for the legacy, wealth and rapid development that Holland underwent in the 17th century.

    Rembrandt & the Golden Age

    Celebrate Rembrandt’s life and the extraordinary century in which he lived in museums throughout Holland with theme year Rembrandt and the Golden Age.

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