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Amsterdam: Rembrandt’s house and his collections

Rembrandt was a very fanatic art collector
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Hardly any museum can give you a better idea of seventeenth century life than Rembrandt’s House, the home of the master. Born in Leiden in 1606, Rembrandt lived most of his life in Amsterdam, where he painted for the affluent owners of the canal buildings. In 1639, at the peak of his career, he bought the house at Jodenbreestraat 4, now home to the Rembrandt House. In those days everyone wanted a painting by him, so he had no financial concerns. That changed dramatically in 1658, when his spending habits led to his bankruptcy and he was forced to sell this house. A great portion of his money had gone into his art and furniture collection.

The current museum has collected similar items to give you a super realistic idea of his life. Walking in the museum, it feels like Rembrandt could be right around the corner. The house consists of various rooms and the state of them is incredible. Particularly impressive is Rembrandt’s studio, where he made many of his paintings. In this room, you will experience the constant light that falls in through the windows and that is so fundamental to his work. Based on his students’ drawings, experts could tell where he used to paint. The easel is placed there, so it is easy to imagine how the painter would work. In another studio in the house you can see the oak press that he used to print his etchings, which are just as impressive as his paintings.   

Rembrandt’s living room was at the same time his bedroom. Here you will see a box bed where people used to sleep in those days. It is a like a rather narrow closet: people would sit up when they slept, afraid to die when they would lie down (they thought too much blood would flow to their brains).     

The museum offers various exhibitions, often on art in the seventeenth century. It is open daily from 10:00 to 17:00. The entrance fee is 10 euro for adults. Visit the website www.rembrandthuis.nl for more details.