Sacred Ground (More of Rembrandt's House)

Here are some more pictures from Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn's House Museum. It is in Jodenbreestraat in Amsterdam.

He purchased it in 1639.

This is a detail from a painting in the entrance. It is a good example of light being in thick paint and darks being thin, translucent and luminous.

The museum resurrected the old plan to restore Rembrandt’s former home to its original condition

Detail of kitchen water pail. Evidently he had indoor plumbing.

A typical chair- obviously recreated and not original.

The objects in his house are true to this period or are authentically from Rembrandt's time.

In 1656 Rembrandt’s property was inventoried for the benefit of his creditors, and his household effects and collection of art and curiosities were sold.

The house was auctioned in 1658 and fetched something over eleven thousand guilders.

Rembrandt moved to a small rented house on Rozengracht, where he lived until his death in 1669.

In other words, the plates shown above may have been his....and maybe not. But they are all authentic antiques.

Some items were found in what I'd call the old "septic tank."

Skimmers hanging over the fireplace.

Three legged pots to set in the fireplace.

Okay, so Rembrandt didn't have an airvent (a modern invention - upper left), but the objects on the fireplace mantel are in the inventory.

Fireplace and oven.

Tongs to grab hot coals.

Candle holders.

Containers for dry foods.

Really old chair with original leather covering.

Notice the black and white floors? They appear in a lot of Dutch paintings.

After his wife died, Rembrandt began a relationship with the much younger Hendrickje Stoffels, who had initially been his maid.

In 1654 they had a daughter and were considered legally wed under common law, but Rembrandt had not married Henrickje.

He did not want to lose access to a trust set up for his son Titus. I gather that Saskia wanted to control her husband even after death. Ouch.

Hendrickjke's chest is shown in the front hallway. He kept it when she left him.

Detail of the chest.

The building was constructed in 1606 and 1607 for Cornelis van der Voort in what was then known as the Sint Anthonisbreestraat. The street did not come to be called Jodenbreestraat until later.

This house was built on two lots in the eastern part of the city. Many rich merchants and artists settled in this new part of town.

In 1639 Rembrandt signed a contract governing the payment for the purchase of the house in Breestraat. The purchase price was 13,000 guilders, a huge sum, which he could not come up with in its entirety.

He was, however, allowed to pay it off in installments.

A portrait of Saskia - probably painted shortly after they married in 1634.

Sadly their son Rumbartus died two months after his birth in 1635 and their daughter Cornelia died at just 3 weeks of age in 1638.

In 1640, they had a second daughter, also named Cornelia, who died after living barely over a month.

Only their fourth child, Titus, who was born in 1641, survived into adulthood.

Saskia died in 1642 soon after Titus's birth, probably from tuberculosis. Rembrandt's drawings of her on her sick and death bed are among his most moving works.

In addition to the collection of etchings, drawings and copper plates by the master himself, the Rembrandt House Museum also owns a small number of paintings by Rembrandt’s teacher, his pupils and his contemporaries.

At this time Rembrandt had already established his reputation as an artist. In the same year he bought the house, he was awarded the prestigious commission to paint the Night Watch.

This is the front door - from the inside.

Experts have undertaken lengthy and detailed studies to ensure that the restoration is historically accurate.

The Rembrandt House is constantly refurbishing the rooms in an attempt to get as close as possible to the situation in Rembrandt’s time.

Etching press.

Rembrandt's bed.

The beautiful floor of his printing room.

This time was known as the Golden Age of Painting.

Rembrandt lived beyond his means, buying art (including, it is said, bidding up his own work).

He didn't burn wood in his fireplace - he burned this. Peat?

The authorities and his creditors were generally accommodating to Rembrandt, except for the Amsterdam painters' guild.

They introduced a new rule that no one in Rembrandt's circumstances could trade as a painter. To get around this, Hendrickje and Titus set up a business as art-dealers in 1660, with Rembrandt listed as an "employee."

Rembrandt's art books were his most prized possession.

He kept some 8000 drawings and prints by famous artists in these albums.

So this isn't about Rembrandt but an observation about Amsterdam. I saw cars parked next to canals. There were no curbs or barriers of any kind as you can see here.

Are the Dutch better at parking cars than we are?

Or are there a lot of soggy cars sitting on the bottom of those canals?

Yours truly, Karin (...searching the canals for those sunken cars).


Susan said...

No, but there are a lot of bicycles. My hubby, who worked over there for a while, told me that they paint their bikes weird colors (pink with black polka-dots for instance) as to deter them from being stolen. However, bikes are stolen all the time in Amsterdam, the thief will ride it to his destination, and then pitch it into the canal.

So good to see your blog, Karin! It has been so long since I spoke to you last and never tire of looking at your magnificent portraits.

Over at "RaisinToast"

My Painting Studio said...

Thanks for your kind words.

I wondered about those "interesting" bicycles I saw all over Amsterdam....but I just assumed the Dutch had a wacky sense of humor regarding their two-wheeled transportation.

Now all those odd looking bikes are making more sense, thanks.

I wonder if they ever dredge those canals? And if so, I'd love to hear about some of the objects they find.

I imagine that they tossed things into them in Rembrandt's day too. It could be an interesting historical perspective of the region.

Mary Bullock said...

Thanks for posting more pictures of your trip, Karin. I have a question - why so many triangular chairs? They seem like they would be uncomfortable.

My Painting Studio said...

Those triangular chairs do indeed look uncomfy - let me know if you ever figure it out.

Moggy said...

I got to your blog from a demo you had on another site. I really like your style of painting. I have not been painting for a while, but I'm trying to get back into it because it's the thing I love best to be doing. - Moggy

Hylla said...

Most commonly fished out of canals: drunks -- true
Bicycles, furniture, sadly garbage. If you google the subject, you'll find lots written. Trust the ones that are in Dutch and click on 'translate this page' for a decent translation. Fun!