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The Rembrandt House has been reconstructed to resemble how it looked when the painter lived in it. This is thanks to the fact that when he went bankrupt in 1656 his belongings had to be sold off at public auction; a detailed inventory was drawn up of everything in the rooms of the house, including the pots and pans in the kitchen and the bed and table linens. These documents were later found, and this has allowed us to see how the great artist actually lived.

As you’ll see, many of the rooms reflect how the average middle-class family lived in the 17th century, while others are more specifically linked to the activities and tastes of the painter.

Let’s start from the room with a reproduction of the artist’s workshop. Not only can you see where Rembrandt used to paint; you can also get an idea of the process he used to grind the pigments and create the colors, and how he prepared the canvases and the wood panels for painting. You can learn about the different materials and objects he used for painting, such as the two different palettes he used to avoid mixing shades.

Especially fascinating is the “Wunderkammer”, the large, bright room where the painter kept most of his art collections and natural curios. The collection of paintings, and particularly prints, by artists from other countries allowed Rembrandt to keep abreast of developments in painting without having to go on long journeys abroad. You’ll also find copies of busts of Roman emperors, ancient coins and statuettes of varying origin, as well as dried fish, stuffed birds, shells and ethnological materials similar to the exotic objects frequently purchased by Rembrandt straight from the quays of the nearby port when the ships of the East India Company docked there.

There’s more to the museum visit than the house Rembrandt once lived in. Next to the original house, and linked to it, is a modern building where you can admire a number of works by the artist, mainly engravings, as well as part of his original collection of objects from all over the world.

An interesting fact: Rembrandt’s life was beset by tragedy. In addition to the death of his wife and a number of newborn children, he also lost his new partner, and just before his death, even his much-loved son Titus.

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