Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Rembrandt's House

As we were walking to Rembrandt's House, we happened on Rembrandt Square and this really  interesting "statue" of The Night Watch. Since it was fairly early in the day and there weren't too many people around, we had fun walking around and visiting with some of the figures. It was really cool;  I felt like I was walking into  the painting.

Not too far away is the house Rembrandt lived in from 1639 to 1658. According to the museum, he bought it for an outrageous sum and then didn't pay the mortgage. Instead he bought all sorts of interesting things, many of which he kept on hand for he and his students to practice with.

When he went bankrupt, the house was sold and his belongings were inventoried and put up for auction. Incredibly the inventory survived, so the museum is a fairly faithful representation of what was in there in Rembrandt's day. The inventory was done by the room, so they even know where each item was in the building. The museum also had copies made of furniture pieces that were visible in etchings he did that show inside his home.

The etchings were probably my favorite part of the museum. We could take photos of the room with the press, but not in the room with original prints and copper plates. They're so fragile, the paper prints are swapped out every three months. (The museum has an extensive collection of original plates and prints.)

In the room where they believe he worked there was a guide explaining how created his paints; one of them was actually just sand, river mud and oil. He's the only painter to ever use this mixture, so when they discover paintings with this formula, they can be certain they are works by Rembrandt.

If you happen to visit the museum, be sure to listen to the children's audio tour after you listen to the adult version -  it will make you smile.

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