Inspired by: Rembrandt’s scenes from daily life

Rembrandt has always fascinated us—not just in this Rembrandt Year, 350 years after his death, but down through the centuries. Rembrandt’s etchings have motivated artists in all kinds of ways. Our exhibition Inspired by Rembrandt – on view from 7 June until 1 September 2019–  explores his impact on their art.

This time we have dipped into our own collection, for the museum is not just his former home and workshop. For more than a hundred years it has also been collecting art on paper—the collection now contains more than 4,000 prints. And not just Rembrandts, but art by his followers—from his own time and contemporary artists. The exhibition is composed of eight stimulating themes; on our blog we’ll highlight each of the them individually.

This time: ‘LIfe’.

Rembrandt often made etchings of everyday life—of a young lady reading, for example. Sensitive scenes, with a certain kind of intimacy. This intimacy also inspired later artists. Among them Édouard Manet and an anonymous Rembrandt pupil. They made prints of their acquaintances and loved ones. Aat Veldhoen went a step further. He portrayed human fragility in scenes of operations and road accidents.

Loved One in Bed

Manet’s wife lies there looking very nineteenth century: on a chaise longue, in a shawl and nightcap. Suzanne Leenhoff is recovering from an illness, as the title suggests. Rembrandt also made etchings like this of his wife Saskia. Just as small, sketchy and intimate. Manet often portrayed Suzanne. Always a robust woman with rosy cheeks. Here she is clearly not looking well. We can see the illness in her hollow-cheeked face.

Édouard Manet, La convalescente, c. 1876–1884, The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam | Aat Veldhoen, Paring, 1962, The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam | Rembrandt, Woman Reading, 1634, The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.  

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