Rembrandt and Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age

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How did people fall in love and get married in the Golden Age? The exhibition Rembrandt en Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age at the Fries Museum focuses on seventeenth century marriage customs, from courtship until after the wedding. The exhibition’s theme is the story of Rembrandt and his Frisian bride Saskia.

  • Discover that a Golden Age wedding was not so very different from today’s wedding ceremonies.
  • Admire intimate drawings, etchings and personal paintings by Rembrandt.
  • Follow the love story of Rembrandt and his Frisian bride Saskia.

Rembrandt and his Frisian Saskia

In 1634, Rembrandt wed Saskia Uylenburgh, the love of his life, in the Frisian town of Sint Annaparochie. It is likely that he did not care what it cost. Special objects show what such a society wedding in the Golden Age involved. Together with special seventeenth-century objects like wedding gloves, wedding rings and even a bed, portraits make history a tangible and personal testimonial. Of course the exhibition devotes special attention to Saskia’s Frisian background.

The Fries Museum has had a number of wedding portraits restored for the occasion so that details like wedding rings are clearly visible once again. If you could afford it, you commissioned paintings of the wedding ceremony that served as a kind of wedding reportage. The exhibition also features a number of these paintings. They show that a seventeenth century marriage was not really all that different from a modern wedding ceremony.

Until death do us part  

Intimate drawings, etchings and personal paintings by Rembrandt tell the life story of the painter and his spouse. Their happiness lasted less than ten years, since Saskia fell ill and passed away before she was thirty years old. They had four children during their marriage, of which only their son Titus survived his childhood. This was not uncommon in a seventeenth-century marriage. The exhibition also recounts this dark side of the marriage. Letters, epitaphs and poems offer a poignant glimpse of the huge loss involved.

Accommodations in Leeuwarden

Combine your visit to Rembrandt and Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age  with a city trip to Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden boasts a beautiful historic inner city full of special attractions. We have selected our favorite hotels for a city trip for you.

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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Rembrandt and Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age
Address: 
Wilhelminaplein 92
8911BS Leeuwarden
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