Talkshow and podcast RembrandtLIVE

Watch and listen to RembrandtLIVE here: the series of talkshows and podcasts by The Rembrandt House Museum about Rembrandt’s time and the connection with now.


She was famous across Europe: the Asian elephant Hansken. In the middle of the seventeenth century, she was the only living elephant on the continent and was toured to markets, fairs, and courts. When Hansken was in Amsterdam, Rembrandt drew her. The Rembrandt House Museum will soon open an exhibition about Hansken’s life story. In the latest edition of the talkshow RembrandtLIVE we give you a preview of the exhibition Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant and dive deeper into elephant welfare then and now.

Live from Rembrandt’s living room, our host Emma Waslander sits down with Leonore van Sloten (curator of The Rembrandt House Museum) and Rikkert Reijnen (IFAW). What was Hansken’s life in Europe like? What attracted artists like Rembrandt to her? And what do we know about elephant welfare then and now? Also in this episode: reporter Jermaine Berkhoudt (My Daily Shot of Culture) visits the elephant habitat in ARTIS, and Michiel Roscam Abbing and Anneke Groen (initiators of the exhibition) talk about their fascination with the story of Hansken.

The talkshow ‘RembrandtLIVE: Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant’, which premiered on May 12th, can be viewed here:

Podcast: RembrandtLIVE – Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant (Dutch)

Would you rather listen to Hansken’s extraordinary story? We’ve also made a podcast about the famous seventeenth-century elephant. Joining our host Emma Waslander are Leonore van Sloten (curator of The Rembrandt House Museum) and Michiel Roscam Abbing (guest curator and author of THE book about Hansken).


Museum Het Rembrandthuis will soon open the exhibition Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant, with works of art by Rembrandt and his contemporaries, historical documents, and a digital map on which you can follow Hansken’s trail through Europe. But also Hansken’s skull, which has been preserved and has been brought from Italy to The Rembrandt House Museum specially for this exhibition. The story of Hansken is astonishing, but also moving. She had to put up with a lot in her life; she was forced to go on long journeys and constantly had to make appearances. Besides the beautiful works of art made after her by Rembrandt and his contemporaries, this exhibition also sheds light on elephant welfare from today’s standpoint. Hansken, Rembrandt’s Elephant is on view (depending on corona measures) from 26 May to 25 July 2021 in The Rembrandt House Museum.



28 February 2021 | Online event | Language: Dutch

In the seventeenth century there was also an epidemic in The Netherlands: the plague. During the last wave of that epidemic, in the years 1663-1664, 24,148 people died in Amsterdam, more than 10 percent of the population at that time. Rembrandt was also affected by the disease: his beloved Hendrickje Stoffels died of the plague, the same is often suggested about his son Titus. In this episode of the talkshow RembrandtLIVE, our host Emma Waslander welcomes Erik Schmitz (Amsterdam City Archives) and Epco Runia (The Rembrandt House Museum).

How did the plague epidemic affect Amsterdam in the seventeenth century? Erik Schmitz (researcher of the Amsterdam City Archives and Amsterdam expert) will delve deeper into infectious diseases in our history, especially in Amsterdam, where Rembrandt lived. Epco Runia (head of Collection & Education at The Rembrandt House Museum) sheds the spotlight on Rembrandt’s private life: how did the epidemic affect the artist’s family, and how is this reflected in his art?

Watch this episode of RembrandtLIVE (in Dutch):

RembrandtLIVE Podcast

In addition to the talkshow, we also made a podcast about “Rembrandt’s epidemic”, but with a different guest! In this podcast Emma Waslander talks to Koen Kleijn from Ons Amsterdam. Listen to the podcast (in Dutch) on one of the platforms below: