Amsterdam Sights

Rembrandt Huis (Rembrandt House)

The 17th century house in which Rembrandt lived and worked from 1639 till 1658 is still in the Jodenbreestraat in Amsterdam. The house in which his son Titus was born and his wife Saskia prematurely died is also the place where he painted and made hisRembrandt, Saskia with pearls in her hair, 1634 designs.

In 1911 the house became a museum housing most of all Rembrandt's etchings. It's a great experience to see these exhibited in the very same surroundings in which they where created. In the museum there are also a small number of his drawings as well as paintings by his pupils and his teacher.

<< Photo left:
Rembrandt, Saskia with pearls in her hair, 1634     Etching, 87 x 68 mm
Saskia van Uylenburgh and Rembrandt married in 1634 in Friesland; in the same year Rembrandt made this dreamy, sophisticated portrait of his wife.


Rembrandt's graphic work
In addition to his extensive oeuvre of paintings and drawings Rembrandt van Rijn also produced around 290 prints. His mastery in this field is undisputed; he is generally acknowledged as one of the great etchers - if not the greatest - of all time.

Rembrandt acquired a European reputation in his own lifetime precisely because of his graphic work which, because it could be reproduced, was much more widely seen than his paintings or drawings. Rembrandt's free use of line, the unique deep black of many of his etchings and his masterly use of the drypoint were very popular and his work was much sought after by the many print collectors of the time.

Collection of the museum
The collection as it now stands provides an almost complete overview of Rembrandt's graphic work: 260 of the 290 etchings he made are represented.

Rembrandt, The Fall of Man, 1638


Rembrandt, The Fall of Man, 1638
Etching, 162 x 116 mm

After the creation Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. Their time in Paradise came to an end when Eve was seduced by the serpent into eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1-24). Adam and Eve are depicted very realistically as ordinary, naked, no longer particularly young people. The serpent, borrowed from an engraving by Dürer (Bartsch 16), is a dragon with claws. According to the Bible the animal did not have to crawl over the ground on its belly until after the Fall.



Rembrandt, Self-portrait with Saskia, 1636



Rembrandt, Self-portrait with Saskia, 1636
Etching, 104 x 95 mm

In this double portrait Rembrandt has depicted himself drawing, or possibly in the process of making an etching. Beside him sits his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh, whom he had married two years earlier.



Rembrandt's house
Rembrandt went deep into debt to buy his house in the (Joden)breestraat, and in 1656 this was to prove his undoing. He had been unable to pay his creditors for a very long time, so in June of that year he petitioned for bankruptcy. A list was drawn up of the furniture, art and household items in every room for the public auctions that were to be held in 1656 and 1657. This inventory has been a crucial source of information in the refurbishment of ten of the rooms in Rembrandt's house.


The Salon (Sael) - Rembrandt used this room as a living room and bedroom. In 17th-century Holland it was customary to live and sleep in the same room. There were no bedrooms as we know them at that time. Rembrandt slept with Saskia in a box bed near the door. We know from his drawings what this part of the room looked like.

Anteroom (Sijdelcaemer) - Rembrandt carried on his art dealing business in this elegant room, where he received his clients with a glass of chilled wine from a marble wine cooler. The walls were covered with dozens of paintings from which the client could choose. Rembrandt's art business was not confined to his own paintings. He also sold works by other famous masters like Pieter Lastman, of which the museum owns several paintings. In the centre of the room stood a table, surrounded by Spanish chairs with green velvet upholstery. The walls of the room were whitewashed plaster and there was a mantelpiece with classical ornaments. Opposite the window was a box bed, where overnight guests could sleep.

How to get there?
By metro: 51, 53, or 54 stop Nieuwmarkt Station, Hoogstraat exit.
By tram: 9 or 14 stop Waterlooplein.
By car: Nearest car park Stopera (Muziektheater/Stadhuis)



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Location
Jodenbreestraat 4
(Jewish Quarter)

Opening hours
Sun 10:00 - 17:00
Mon 10:00 - 17:00
Tue 10:00 - 17:00
Wed 10:00 - 17:00
Thu 10:00 - 17:00
Fri 10:00 - 17:00
Sat 10:00 - 17:00


Price
€8 (adults)
€1.50 (6-15 years)
free (0-5 years)


official website
Museum het Rembrandthuis



Rembrandt, Self-portrait, open-mouthed, 1630 Rembrandt, Self-portrait, open-mouthed, 1630
Etching, 51 x 46 mm