Rembrandt ArtTalk – Feb 6, 2020

When I heard that the most famous artist of all times would be displayed in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum I knew for sure that I needed to see his work - live and in color. Meeting the old venerable artists is just like

meeting old friends. During my studying time, I had to work through all of their histories.

Perfect timing that Karla Schlaepfer invited art lovers to her ArtTalk about Rembrandt.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (*July 15, 1606 in Leiden, +October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam) is one of the most famous Dutch artists of the baroque era. Rembrandt is one of the few artists who signed his (besides Michaelangelo)

paintings with his first name – and especially good artworks of his students 😉

He was a ‚special‘ character in many ways. Rembrandt collected many things such as costumes in many variations. This is shown by the oriental influences in his artwork and himself wearing turbans of hats.

Today you would possibly call him a ‚Karnevalsjeck‘.

Being very eccentric didn’t make it very easy to see his art. That’s why his wives took over the management - art was rather his profession than a vocation.

Rembrandt and his first wife Saskia were considered ‚celebrities‘ in Amsterdam – both knew what he was capable of and he produced a lot of artwork to be sold. Saskias death caused a big crisis in Rembrandt’s life leading to bankruptcy and all of his belongings being sold. 

One of his most famous commisions came from Amsterdam’s civic militia guards – the Night Watch (Die Nachtwache) - the painting was commissioned to hang in the banquet hall of the newly built Kloveniersdoelen (Musketeers’ Meeting Hall) in Amsterdam. 

Rembrandt painted many self-portraits (today we would call them selfies) – one of the reasons is the lack of money to pay for models.

The exhibition in the darkened, mauve-painted rooms and the opulent baroque frames in black and gold seem to give a private insight into Rembrandt’s Boudoir. 

Text by Yvonne Renner

Translated by Anke Kellerwessel