Just like the name has it … this museum is about Rembrandt’s house! Not his artwork.
The building was constructed in 1606 and 1607. Back then, the street was known as the Sint Anthonisbreestraat and not Jodenbreestraat like in the present day. Rembrandt purchased the house in 1639 with a princely sum of 13.000 guilders to be paid in instalments. He was at the height of his fame when he moved in with his wife Saskia Uylenburgh. For 20 years, he lived and worked in this house. This was where the famous Night Watch was painted, where his children were born and where Saskia, his beloved wife died. Failing to keep up his mortgage, Rembrandt was forced into bankruptcy in 1656. The house was auctioned in 1658 and all his possession were sold off piece by piece. Rembrandt had to move to a modest rented house on the Rozengracht with his mistress Hendrickje Stoffels, their young daughter Cornelia and Rembrandt’s seventeen-year-old son Titus, where he lived until his death in 1669 at the age of 63.
The house has many different occupants the following 250 years. Finally, the Amsterdam City Council bought the house and handed it over to Stichting Rembrandthuis, a foundation set up in 1907. A museum was opened in 1911 dedicated to the artist. In the 1990s, a modern new wing was added and the Rembrandt’s house was carefully restored and reconstructed according to its 17th-century interior. That bankruptcy inventory was crucial in recreating the content of Rembrandt’s home for this museum.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn from Leiden was an art dealer, a painter, a teacher and a printmaker. The Rembrandt House Museum offers a glimpse of Rembrandt’s everyday life back in the 17th century. It presents a reconstructed living situation such as the artist studio, his living quarters, artifact chamber and printing room. On display are 6 of Rembrandt’s very own paintings, his etchings and also paintings by other artists during his time.
Since I know nothing about art, such museum with a real life story is an interesting visit for me. A chance to inspect the inside of a grand Amsterdam house room by room, which once upon a time belong to a famous Dutch master. My last visit took about an hour and a half. Look out for the daily demonstrations of etching process (ground floor) and how paint was prepared and mixed during that period of time (upper floor). Be careful going up the narrow and almost vertically steep staircase! Demonstrations are free of charge and require no reservation. Enjoy the free multilingual audio guide and if you are with kids, a special audio tour is available in Dutch and English.
Address: Jodenbreestraat 4. 1011 NK Amsterdam .
Opening hours: Everyday 10am -6pm
Entrance fees: €13.00 (adults), €4.00 (6-17yrs) and kids 0-6 yrs are free
Free entry for Museum Card holder and other cards.
Check site for more details and current exhibitions.
15 minutes walk from Amsterdam Central train station or take the trams number 9 and 14 instead of walking and stop at Waterlooplein.