Rembrandt’s famous earliest group portrait underwent thorough examination in the 1990s. As a result, we know a great deal about the painting’s technical composition. Paint samples taken from different areas of the painting have revealed the composition of Rembrandt’s paint and his process of building up layers to achieve the final result.
Kolk & Kusters based the translation of this painting into ceramic form on this specific information. Characteristic of this painting are the skin tones and various shades of black, especially those found on the figures’ clothing. Kolk & Kusters focused their research on these cross section samples.
This study is part of the exhibition RembrandtLAB, currently on view at The Rembrandt House Museum. Kolk & Kusters about their research: “Many colours have disappeared from the contemporary palette, and colours have been made stable and constant, so that they are the same in every production and every edition. As a result, today’s colours have become very flat, and we do not work with the material qualities of colours anymore (all colours consist of minerals, which have possibilities and limitations). The modern creative industry can learn much from Rembrandt’s legacy. For instance, how to make colours rich again.” Read more about RembrandtLAB here.