The past few years, the Rijksmuseum (‘State Museum’) in Amsterdam has been under heavy renovations. With only a skeleton collection, the museum was very generous with giving their pieces to other museums on display. But with the newly renovated museum in full operation again, it was time to call in the favours from those other museums and collections. The result is the exhibition of The Late Rembrandt.
Of course, the Rijksmuseum is best known for its collection of works by Rembrandt (most notably the Nachtwacht), but they are not the only museum that has a collection of Rembrandts. The exhibition focusses on the last years of Rembrandt’s life, when he developed a more… let’s say “impressionist” style. And it features works that have not left their spot for decades, but that they somehow managed to get on loan. The list of participating museums and collections is quite impressive.
So, all in all, a unique exhibition with works that will probably never be seen again together.
It’s just that I’m not much of a fan of Rembrandt — my tastes range more into modern art. But my father wanted to see this exhibition, and I thought it was a good reason to spend some time together after all his medical troubles. He rarely leaves the house without my mother, and it would be good for him to spend some time on things that interest him. klik also came with us.
We spent Sunday night at my parents’, and in the morning set off to Amsterdam. We parked near the museum (my father would pay the extortionist parking fees) and we set off.
I must say that my opinion of the works of Rembrandt has changed quite a bit. He is most known for his use of light in his paintings, and that could be seen in full effect in some of the larger works. The photo on Wikipedia does not do it justice, but The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis has really dynamic lighting. (And apparently it had not been moved from its spot in the Swedish National Museum since 1864 — until this exhibition…)
If you have even a passing interest in Dutch masters in general or Rembrandt in particular, then you should go see this exhibition. I’m glad we went, not only because we got to spend some quality time with dad. The rooms were quite busy though — even though everyone had tickets for entering during a 2-hour timeslot, and by the time we had seen everything, my dad was exhausted. We managed to get some lunch and then went back.