What a privilege it was to walk in the steps of Rembrandt – in the house he worked, ate, loved and slept in from 1639 -1658. The artist who continues to be appreciated as one of the greatest artists in the western world, but it took me a visit to his birthplace and environment to fully acknowledge that. I am probably more likely to spend time viewing my contemporaries, but the opportunity to view Rembrandt’s art in several museums in recent years has reaffirmed to me why some artists have a language that transcends all borders and time.
The etchings were masterly, and at times the restraint he showed by not adding too much detail – like a background, that leaves us more time to appreciate the figure or in some instances the plight or circumstances of the subject.
An intimate portrait of Rembrandt’s wife Saskia van Uylenburgh.
The natural history room collection.
We saw a demonstration of how Rembrandt made his paints. The artist here uses a Muller to grind the linseed oil with the pigments. The paint is ready when it is scraped up with the palette knife and can hold its shape, just think about making whipped egg white hold a peak. A foodie analogy for my fellow food bloggers. The colours were mostly derived from rocks, natural semi precious stones, some plants and insects. We learned that he stored the paint in tiny bags made of leather.
A quirky habit of people in Rembrandt’s day was to raise a chair on a dais so you could sit and look at the people in the street.
Well you would want to see the bed where Rembrandt slept. Very cosy but of course very short as people in those times liked to sleep propped up in an almost sitting position.