26 December, 2006

Rembrandt House

After the Maritime Museum, I walked over to the Rembrandt House museum. This is Rembrandt's home, which he bought in 1639 and had to sell in 1656 when he went bankrupt. The inventory that was compiled in 1656 because of Rembrandt’s bankruptcy enabled the museum to work out how the house was laid out during this period and how Rembrandt had used the different rooms. Some of Rembrandt’s drawings and etchings provided additional information.

In addition, the museum houses around 260 of the 290 print editions he made, including some original worked copper plates (!), which were great to see. I got to take a picture of the wooden press they have set up in what was Rembrandt's print shop (which is used by the museum to do etching demos! There were some prints drying when I looked in, but no demo today) before the guard told me that pictures were not allowed. No biggie; with the possible exception of the painter's pallete in the thrid-floor studio (in which the museum also holds paint mixing demos), the rest of the house is pretty ho-hum. Small, steep staircase. Very little furniture. People apparently slept in boxes with bedding in them, that they would close up during the day. Pretty interesting, actually.

On the third floor they had a temporary exhibit entitled Tour de France. It collects drawings by Rembrandt's student Lambert Doomer and his friend Willem Schellinks, made during a trip along the River Loire in 1646. The collection is considered one of the best visual records of the countryside at that time.

No comments: