It has been a whirlwind of Rembrandt throughout 2019, with museums across the Netherlands celebrating the lauded artist and the Dutch Golden Age. Here are the main exhibitions that have taken place since the start of the year and those still come.  

Young Rembrandt – Rising Star

The final exhibition of the year returns to Rembrandt’s hometown of Leiden and is the first major exhibition to focus on Rembrandt’s early work. Comprising approximately 40 paintings, 70 etchings and 10 drawings, the exhibition considers his development between 1624 and 1634. Visit this exhibition to gain insight into the foundations that Rembrandt laid down and that would cement his reputation as one the worlds’ greatest artists.

Jonge Rembrandt // Museum De Lakenhal // 3 November 2019 - 9 February 2020

Gain insight into the work of Nicolaes Maes, one of Rembrandt’s former students, at this showing at the Mauritshuis. Rembrandt always looked for new solutions in his work, a skill that Maes also demonstrated as he tackled problems in a way that was all his own. And like his teacher, Maes also painted biblical stories in an original manner.

Nicolaes Maes // Rembrandt House Museum // 17 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

Rembrandt-Velázquez

This exhibition compares the works of 17th-century Dutch and Spanish painters. Working around the same time but without much, if any, knowledge of their contemporaries in other lands, the juxtaposition of the two works highlights differences and similarities while showcasing the significant artistic achievements of the period.

Rembrandt-Velázquez // Rijksmuseum // 11 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

St. Peter in Prison returns to the Netherlands after 120 years

St Peter in Prison

Focusing on a single work, St. Peter in Prison (St. Peter Kneeling), 1631, this is your chance to witness a painting that has not been on Dutch soil for the past 120 years. Completed in Leiden not long before Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, this painting clearly shows Rembrandt’s deft skill at rendering light and shadow to dramatic effect.

A Masterpiece by Rembrandt from the Israel Museum // Jewish Historical Museum // 13 September 2019 - 10 November 2019

Laboratorium Rembrandt

Get the low-down on Rembrandt’s techniques, methods and materials in this exhibition with a difference. Within the museum, a special laboratory has been set up to investigate just how Rembrandt created his paintings and etchings. Learn about how his images were made and discover the dilemmas researchers and conservators face today.

Laboratorium Rembrandt // Rembrandt House Museum // 21 September 2019 - 16 February 2020

Inspired by Rembrandt

Pablo Picasso Inspired by Rembrandt

Charting Rembrandt’s influence on generations of artists, this exhibition in Rembrandt’s former houses included works by Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Marlene Dumas, Aat Veldhoen and Glenn Brown. It dazzled with brilliance and showcased the museum’s collection. For the most part, the exhibition comprised works on paper including drawings, water colours and prints with Rembrandt’s own etchings well-represented.

Inspired by Rembrandt // Rembrandt House Museum // 7 June 2019 - 1 September 2019

Johan Maurits

Shifting Image, at Maurithuis in the Hague, considered the life and time of Johan Maurits, the man whose name the museum takes. The aim of the exhibition was to offer new perspectives on Johan Maurits’s life and times with colonialism as an overarching theme. Maurits was a great admirer and facilitator of art, and this exhibition explored his legacy, including relevant works by Rembrandt.

Shifting Image // Mauritshuis // 4 April 2019 - 7 July 2019

All the Rembrandts

All the Rembrandts Rijksmuseum

One of the most beautiful exhibitions was All the Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum. It brought together a wide selection of his works, from large paintings to small sketches and intimate prints, showcasing the master’s skill at translating his keen sense of observation into art that continues to enchant.

All the Rembrandts // Rijksmuseum // 15 February - 10 June 2019

Rembrandt’s Social Network

In Rembrandt’s Social Network: Family, Friends and Acquaintances the importance of social networks, long before the advent of social media, were explored. It dove into how important his social networks were for the development of his career and revealed just who was in Rembrandt’s inner circle. Just as social media categorises our friends and acquaintances, this exhibition looks at the various groups of people Rembrandt knew. An adept networker, he cultivated groups of people throughout his career who assisted him financially, purchased his work and provided him with challenges that helped him grow as an artist.

Rembrandt’s Social Network // Rembrandt House Museum // 1 February - 19 May 2019

Rembrandt at the Mauritshuis

The Anatomy Lesson

The Mauritshuis in The Hague presented their entire Rembrandt collection in Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis. It was the first time that the museum presented their Rembrandt collection in this way, and saw two of the master’s most famous paintings, his final self-portrait and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulip, displayed in the same exhibition.

Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis // Mauritshuis // 31 January 2019 - 15 September 2019

Rembrandt Privé

To kick things off, Amsterdam’s City Archive hosted Rembrandt Privé, an exhibition that looked at archival material, including original 17-century documents. It provided insight into the life and times of Rembrandt with a focus on his personal story, particularly his life in Amsterdam. Through trace documents learn about Rembrandt’s daily life, work, clients, wives, children and money problems in this fascinating tell-all tale of one the great Dutch master artists.

Rembrandt Privé // Amsterdam City Archives // 7 December 2018 - 7 April 2019

Be sure to check out Operation Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum, a year long research projects aiming to uncover the secrets of Rembrandt’s masterful painting, Night Watch. And for more background about Rembrandt Year read Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age.