The Year of Rembrandt
The last weeks have been full of history. You know, my parents are really culturally minded and they reckon it is important for me to get acquainted with art & culture from a very young age. As I want to impress them after my birth, I am reading as much as I can on the subject. I think I inherited their cultural genes because I enjoy every moment!
LEIDEN, Rembrandt’s birth city
In commemoration of the death year of Holland’s most famous painter, Rembrandt Van Rijn, the city where he was born in 1606, Leiden, organised an historical event making you relive Leiden during Rembrandt’s days, about 350 years ago. I must admit it made me think of Alkmaar’s yearly historical event Kaeskoppenstad, which I reported on some blogposts ago. I hope you appreciate that I took some photos especially for you to make it much more realistic.
The door in the picture hereunder is the entrance to the Latin school where Rembrandt studied and had his first painting lessons.
By having an elegant statue of Rembrandt (located on the Witte Singel), Leiden has paid tribute as his birth city.
The photo of the woman bathing in the basin represents the painting “A Woman bathing in a Stream” (most likely Hendrickje Stoffels) which is one of Rembrandt’s paintings owned by the National Gallery in London.
AMSTERDAM RIJKSMUSEUM & Operation Rembrandt
I am sure you all know this renown Dutch painter, who died in Amsterdam in 1669. His masterpiece is The Night Watch (original Dutch title: De Nachtwacht) completed in 1642 at the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. It has a special place in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. I reckon almost everybody has seen this piece of art, either “live” or in some book or digital source. Did you know that every year more than 2 million people from all over the world contemplate in front of it. Former American president Barack Obama even made a special pause in his official visit to The Netherlands to come and admire this special art work. Even Nijntje (Miffy) posed in front of the Nightwatch, so I was told.
By the way, did you know that there is some sort of selfie of Rembrandt in the painting? The soldier in the back row is actually Rembrandt!
At the very moment, the Rijksmuseum started what they call “Operation Nightwatch”, a unique and rather prestigious investigation as to the restoration option of this famous painting. With special X-Ray techniques they scan the entire painting. One entire scan takes about 24 hours to complete. They want to do 56 scans for the entire operation, which in my opinion is a thorough operation.
Operation Nightwatch started in July and the nice thing is that visitors can see what is being investigated. I would like to share the video from the Rijksmuseum’s website. This operation has had worldwide attention.
“On 8 July 2019 the Rijksmuseum starts Operation Night Watch. It will be the biggest and most wide-ranging research and conservation project in the history of Rembrandt’s masterpiece. The goal of Operation Night Watch is the long-term preservation of the painting. The entire operation will take place in a specially designed glass chamber so the visiting public can watch”. Should you like to read more about this operation or other events organised in the Year of Rembrandt, then visit the Rijksmuseum’s website for the details.
REMBRANDT SQUARE with The Night Watch statues
Did you know that there is a group of statues in bronze representing the characters in the Nightwatch? It attracts millions of tourists from all over the world, posing in between the statues. It is situated at the Rembrandt square, which seems to be the most logical place for it, wouldn’t you say? Even young toddlers are fascinated by it, as you can see from the picture that I took. I guess this make it all the more lively than the actual painting. The huge statue behind the group statue represents the master himself.
You can’t miss the numerous posters hanging around in Amsterdam drawing your attention to the numerous happenings around Rembrandt.
THE HAGUE & the Mauritshuis Museum
Not only the city of Amsterdam is promoting Rembrandt. The city of The Hague, which hosts the well-know Mauritshuis, has a special exhibition, showing all 18 Rembrandt pieces from their collection (such as The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp and Rembrandt’s late self-portrait, but also other paintings that are no longer considered to be by Rembrandt and are rarely – if ever on display). While you are in this famous museum, do not forget to visit the rest of their beautiful collection, such as the The Girl with a Pearl Earring by the famous Dutch painter Vermeer.
Dear friends, if you haven’t been able to come over to the Netherlands to admire Rembrandt’s work, then this year is definitely the time due to the extra events dedicated to remember his 350 years’ death year.
If we might bump into each other, don’t hesitate to share your most precious Rembrandt details with me. Mummy won’t certainly mind me socialising from this very early age, especially since it is culturally-inspired.
PS If you happen to visit the Rembrandt Square, you might be in for a gourmet snack which happen to be sold nearby. Please check out one of my previous posts.
See you soon