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2019: the year of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age

2019 will be the year for the art world to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt death. The most significant museums and galleries all over the world are organizing exciting exhibitions and presentations throughout the year to show the best artworks of the remarkable Golden Age painter and his contemporaries.
So we are taking a look at Rembrandt special events all over the world and preview the most exciting commemorative exhibitions for the year ahead.
The cultural institutions are marking this important anniversary with various activities throughout the year. The special events showing Rembrandt’s most important masterpieces will take place from Amsterdam and the Hague to his birthplace in Leiden in Nertherlands, Munich and Kassel in Germany, London and Oxford in UK, Canada and USA.

Rembrandt House Museum

The largest Rembrandt-focused museum in the Netherlands prepared several special exhibitions, showing the most remarkable pieces collected over the last 108 years. His former workshop will be transformed into a laboratory-like setting, in which new insights and the master’s secrets will be revealed. Unique will be to organize an exclusive afterhours visit and dinner in the old kitchen in the house where Rembrandt lived and worked (up to 18 guests).

Rembrandt in Paris. Manet, Meryon, Degas and the Rediscovery of Etching (1830−1890) (21 September 2018 — 6 January 2019)
You can now visit an exhibition dedicated to the Rembrandt’s major influence on etching in nineteenth-century Paris. Many French avant-garde artists, Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Manet, Meryon and Degas looked to Rembrandt, depicted impressive landscapes, views of the city and observations of people.

Rembrandt’s Social Network (1 February — 19 May 2019)
The exhibition is to examine the role the artist’s friends, acquaintances for Rembrandt’s career and life through rarely-exhibited paintings, drawings, and prints.

Highlights: 108 Years of Collecting by the Rembrandt House (7 June — 1 September 2019)
In the summer of 2019, the museum will feature the most remarkable examples from its collection with a highlights showcasing work by the artists who drew direct influence from Rembrandt.

Rembrandt Laboratory (21 September 2019 — 16 February 2020)
Thanks to developments in scientific technology we know about fascinating art history discoveries. Next year, Rembrandt’s former workshop will be transformed into a laboratory in order to study some master’s work, using new scientific methods.

Left: Rembrandt House Museum; Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Gunnar Bach Pedersen

The Rijksmuseum

During The Year of Rembrandt, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will also present major exhibitions, events and activities dedicated to the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age.

All the Rembrandts (15 February — 10 June 2019)
The biggest collection in the world will be on display for the first time. Twenty two paintings, sixty drawings and the 300 best examples of his 1,300 prints give a complete and versatile picture of the Netherlands' most important artist.

Rembrandt — Velázquez (11 October 2019 — 19 January 2020)
In the autumn of 2019, the Rijksmuseum presents a comprehensive overview of paintings by the two great masters of the 17th century from the Netherlands and Spain. Extraordinary works, rooted in realism and religion, were created in both artistic environments. Masterpieces by Velázquez, Rembrandt, Murillo, Vermeer, Zurbarán, Hals and Ribera are on display together for the first time thanks to a unique collaboration between the Museo del Prado and the Rijksmuseum.

In Fries Museum, Leeuwarden there will start the exhibition "Rembrandt and Saskia. Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age" from 24 November 2018.

Rembrandt and Saskia form the central theme. The museum combines the portraits with objects and true stories and personal documents. By the example of their love story, visitors can paint a very complete and realistic picture of marriage in the Dutch Golden Age.

It wll be on view till 17 March 2019. Later on this exhibition will move to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel, titled "Kassel… verliebt in Saskia. Liebe und Ehe in Rembrandts Zeit". It can be seen from 12 April to 11 August 2019 there.

The Mauritshuis

Recognized as a key Dutch heritage site, the Mauritshuis in The Hague houses a world-renowned collection of more than 200 works by Dutch and Flemish masters, including some of the most important paintings of the Golden Age. In light of the Year of Rembrandt, eighteen paintings attributed to the artist will be on view, along with other paintings that were previously attributed to Rembrandt and are rarely on display. This survey will unveil the history of connoisseurship and understanding of Rembrandt’s oeuvre — a ‘history of the history of art' of sorts that is rarely ventured in major museums.

Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis (31 January — 15 September 2019)

Nicolaes Maes (one of Rembrandt’s most talented pupils) (17 October 2019 — 19 January 2020)

The Mauritshuis, Photo: Courtesy of the Mauritshuis Collection, The Hague

The Lakenhal museum in Leiden will reopen after two years of renovation with a large exposition "Young Rembrandt" (3 November 2019 — 9 February 2020), including the oldest known painting of Rembrandt, the Brillenverkoper. This painting is part of a series of five oil paintings, completed around 1624 or 1625, depicting the five senses. Leiden will present a true Rembrandt Experience. Apart from the museum, visitors can visit Rembrandt’s place of birth, the Latin School, the University and the workshop where Rembrandt was taught by Jacob van Swanenburgh. On Rembrandt’s birthday, the 15th of July, 2.000 to 3.000 people will shape into a large Rembrandt self-portrait, filmed from the air.

Left: Museum De Lakenhal, Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Xsandriel

  • Rembrandt, Brillenverkoper, ca. 1624
  • Rembrandt. Self-portrait, 1628
From 27 February till 7 June 2020 this exhibition will be housed at The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, curated by the former director of the Ashmolean Museum, Christopher Brown, an internationally recognized expert on Rembrandt’s work.
Also, in Autumn 2019 the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich will highlight graphic works by Rembrandt from Munich collection and Dulwich Picture Gallery, London will present 35 carefully selected international loans that focus on Rembrandt’s mastery of light and visual storytelling. Along with many firsts, this show will bring the captivating painting Philemon and Baucis (National Gallery of Art, Washington) to the UK for the first time.
There are special programs focusing on the master himself in Canada and USA.

Leiden circa 1630: Rembrandt Emerges (24 August — 1 December 2019)
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston

Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker (16 September 2018 — 6 January 2019) showcases more than 100 prints, drawings, and paintings from Rembrandt van Rijn’s career spanning from 1625 to 1665.
Denver Art Museum, Denver
Based on materials from official sites of Sotheby’s, the museums and galleries noted above.

Title illustration: Rembrandt. The Night Watch, 1642.