Rembrandt’s birthday and music

This video from the Netherlands, with English subtitles, says about itself:

Teaser to the exhibition Frans Hals: Eye to eye with Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian. The exhibition will run from March 22, 2013 – July 28, 2013.

Rembrandt was a peculiar artist, compared to his seventeenth century colleagues.

Unlike, eg, Rubens, he lived in the rebellious northern Low Countries republic; not under a monarchy like in most of Europe then. That influenced which subjects he painted, as this blog has explained before.

Rembrandt did not only differ from artists living outside the Dutch republic like Rubens; he differed from his Dutch contemporaries as well.

Five percent of Rembrandt’s works were scenes from daily life and landscapes. Far less than in many other seventeenth century Dutch painters. Scenes from daily life, or “genre art“, were popular in the Dutch bourgeois art market. Many painters, like Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen, specialized in them.

Landscape painting may have become popular, as the Dutch Republic was one of the most densely populated and, pre machine, industrialized areas of Europe, creating a market for painted idyllic counterweights.

Some Dutch seventeenth century landscape painters specialized in special types of landscapes, like frozen canals and rivers in winter.

Though Rembrandt was born close to the Rhine river, where, as we know from other painters, in many winters, usually more severe in the seventeenth century than now, many citizens of Leiden came for skating, he seems to not have liked winter and skating.

As of all his paintings, only one is a winter scene.

Other Dutch artists painted ships at sea. Rembrandt never did, as far as I know.

This video is called Rembrandt’s Timeline.

Very differently from colleagues like Jan Steen and Frans Hals, Rembrandt also never depicted a lute in his work, said lute player Wouter Lucassen during the celebration of Rembrandt’s birthday on 14 July.

Wouter participated in the celebration in a show called The Rembrandt Living Jukebox. The audience could ask which one of ten songs from Rembrandt’s seventeenth century should be played. To perform the songs there were three instruments: a lute, a theorbo, and singer Henriëtte van Rijn’s soprano voice. Henriëtte van Rijn used to sing in the Barbarella’s.

The songs were by Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Constantijn Huygens, Joost van den Vondel and Adriaen Valerius. Especially Valerius’ songs mocked the Spanish monarchy and its Roman Catholic state religion, against which the young Dutch republic revolted.

Wouter Lucassen learned his lute playing from Willem Mook, who played at the 2012 Rembrandt birthday celebration.

Rembrandt, musical allegory

In 1626, Rembrandt did make a painting, called Musical Allegory by later art historians. It depicted a viola da gamba and a harp, but, again, not a lute.

Just before midnight, participants in the celebration went to the bust of Rembrandt, not far from Haagplein 4 building. Precisely at midnight, a wreath was hung around the bust’s neck. Contrary to last year’s celebration, I did not hurt my knee.

Rembrandt, portraits and theatre

The celebration of Rembrandt’s birthday continued after the artists participating in the contest had been awarded their prizes.

There was a theatre play. It was a parody of a Dutch TV show, in which art experts discuss objects brought by people who discovered them on attics etc. In the second act, Rembrandt himself came with a self-portrait. The TV art “expert” did not recognize it as a Rembrandt, and thought it might be worth 100 euro.

Cornelis Claeszoon Anslo and Aeltje Schouten, by Rembrandt

Then, there was a lecture by art historian Els de Baan about portraits in the age of Rembrandt. On many of these portraits, especially women have handkerchief-like pieces of cloth in their hands. These were not handkerchiefs for wiping one’s nose; they were more like status symbols.

Rembrandt’s birthday, 2013 artists’ prizes

This video is called (1/4) RembrandtPrivate life of a Masterpiece (the Night Watch painting).

And here are the sequels.

After her introduction at the celebration of Rembrandt’s birthday, art historian Lisette LeBlanc had not finished yet.

Her next task was to announce which artists had won prizes in the painting contest, part of the celebration.

The theme of the contest based itself on sixteenth century author about art Karel van Mander. Van Mander wrote there were two ways of painting: broad-brush, or with extreme attention to detail. Rembrandt could combine both well.

48 works of art participated in the contest.

A special prize went to Wim Kuin and Gideon Roggeveen for an installation.

Then, the second prize. It consisted of the right to have a solo exhibition in Diana Lepelaar gallery, and a book about Rembrandt. It went to Nicolette Benard, for her painting about pearls.

The first prize was for Els Hoonhout, for her Thee Roos. It was the right to have a solo exhibition in Diana Lepelaar gallery, a book about Rembrandt, and 500 euro.

Rembrandt exhibition in London

This video is called The Power of Art – Rembrandt (complete episode).

From Prensa Latina news agency:

Rembrandt Show for London National Gallery in 2014

London, 11 July – An exhibition examining Rembrandt’s later works is set to open at the National Gallery in London next year.

Rembrandt: The Final Years will feature around 40 paintings, 20 drawings and 30 prints by the Dutch master.

In collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the exhibition will also include key works on loan from other European and American museums.

The show will run in London from 15 October 2014 to 18 January 2015 and in Amsterdam from February 2015.

The gallery said the exhibition would highlight the “inspired unprecedented creativity” of the artist’s later years.

“Soulful, honest and deeply moving, in many ways it is the art of these late years that indelibly defines our image of Rembrandt the man and the artist,” it said.

Betsy Wieseman, the gallery’s curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings, said: “As a mature artist he felt himself less bound by conventions and more willing to take artistic and iconographic risks – to venture into areas that other artists weren’t willing to go.”

The Rembrandt exhibition is one of five new shows planned for the National Gallery for 2014.


See also here. And here. And here.

Dutch antiquities museum on the Internet

This video says about itself:

Exploring the Rijksmuseum with Google Art Project [1080p HD]

A walk through the famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Among its collection are many works of Rembrandt, including the Nachtwacht (Night Watch).

You can explore the Rijksmuseum with Google Art Project here:

The music is “The XX – Intro”.

The Google Art Project shows art objects from museums in various countries in the world on the Internet.

Recently, the Dutch Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden joined this project.

This allows a close look for internauts at 273 objects of the collection of that museum.

Rembrandt night in artist’s city of birth

This video is called The Power of Art – Rembrandt (complete episode).

On 14 July 2012, famous seventeenth century artist Rembrandt was remembered with a special night in the city where he was born, Leiden in the Netherlands.

To be more precise, in the Haagweg 4 building, where many artists of today work. That is only a few hundred meters away from the place where Rembrandt was born on 15 July 1606.

This year, there was an extra reason to celebrate, as local museum De Lakenhal managed to buy a unique Rembrandt painting.

This is a Dutch TV video about the Lakenhal museum in Leiden buying the painting The Spectacles Salesman by Rembrandt.

The Spectacles Salesman is a special Rembrandt painting, as it is the oldest Rembrandt painting known. Rembrandt was just 16-17 years old when he painted it. It is small: only 21 x 17 centimeter.

At 21.00, Rembrandt’s Night in Haagweg 4 started.

Inside Haagweg 4

There was an exhibition called 51 x Rembrandt. 51 artists had made their own works of art, inspired by Rembrandt’s The Spectacles Salesman; of the same small size as Rembrandt’s work.

There was also an exhibition of photographs inspired by Rembrandt’s paintings; The Spectacles Salesman and other ones. The three photographers of Light 4 Focus, like Rembrandt, use light-darkness contrasts in their work, unlike many other photographers today.

There was a guided tour around the big building. Haagweg 4 was built in 1895 as a vocational school. Later, the school closed down. In 1993, artists squatted the building, and managed to become legal residents.

Painting by Fenny van de Wal-Timmerman

Artists’ studios in the building were open. We went to the studio of Fenny van de Wal-Timmerman. She paints especially lakes in France. A bit like Claude Monet; though she avoids water lilies in her paintings, in order to not look too much like Monet.

In the basement, there were murals, depicting marine animals, like sharks, sea turtles, and cephalopods.

There was a lecture about Rembrandt’s painting The Spectacles Salesman, by art historian Els de Baan. She said that the painting is one in a series of five, about the five senses (according to Aristotle). Two other Rembrandt paintings in that series are now in private collections in the USA. We don’t know where the two others are; were they ever painted?

Rembrandt's Spectacles Salesman re-enacted

Rembrandt depicted the spectacles salesman as a fraud.

Rembrandt's Spectacles Salesman, 21st century interpretation

After Ms de Baan, there was the lute player Willem Mook. He played music from the age of Rembrandt. Including a composition by Constantijn Huygens, not only a composer, but also a poet and secretary of the Prince of Orange, the would-be (but not in reality) monarch in the Dutch republic. Huygens discovered young Rembrandt, and gave him an opportunity to paint at the court in The Hague of Prince Frederik Hendrik. (However, the prince’s wife did not like Rembrandt’s too realistic portrait of her. Rembrandt went on to paint, not at the aristocratic court in The Hague, but in bourgeois Amsterdam).

Lute player Willem Mook

Het Blauwe Uur made a computer-generated 3D projection of Rembrandt’s studio, as it might have been.

Projection of Rembrandt's studio

At 23.30, the celebration in Haagweg ended. Behind musicians, people walked to the Rembrandt bust near the Witte Singel canal. At 0.00, midnight, the beginning of Rembrandt’s birthday, a wreath was hung around the bust.

It being dark, I did not notice a sidewalk, and fell. My knee and wrist still hurt.

Happy Birthday Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn! (PHOTOS): here.

New Rembrandt painting discovered in Rotterdam

Rembrandt, Tobias and his wife

From Kunstpedia blog in the Netherlands:

Rembrandt discovered in depot of museum

* By: Kunstpedia Administrator
* 6-10-2010

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam discovered a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn titled “Tobias and his wife” in their depot.

In preparation of an exhibition which would be held in Japan the painting, supposedly painted by a pupil of Rembrandt van Rijn, was ready to be restored. The Rembrandt specialist Ernst van de Wetering however discovered and conformed that without doubt the painting is by the master himself.

Painted in 1659 it shows a man and woman in front of a fireplace. Rembrandt painted the scene over a still-life, which barely shows through the thin layer of paint in certain areas.

The work of art shows, amongst others, resemblances with Rembrandts etching “Peter and John Healing the Cripple” from 1659. Van de Wetering furthermore comments that the position of the two figures, the manner in which they are placed in the scene and the feeling for detail all indicate that the painting is by Rembrandt van Rijn.

As from Friday 8 October 2010, the new discovery will be on display in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen for a month, before the masterpiece will be restored.

See also here. And here.

Rembrandt Scholar’s Lecture a Disorganized Ramble: here.