About Rembrandt House
Rembrandt House (Museum Het Rembrandthuis) was the home of the Dutch painter, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn between 1639 and 1658.
History of the Rembrandt House
Constructed in 1606, Rembrandt House was then located in the wealthy and fashionable eastern part of Amsterdam called Jodenbreestraat. This meant that house prices in this area were high: Rembrandt paid 13,000 guilders for the house in 1639.
It was here that Rembrandt, widely regarded as one of the Dutch Golden Age artists, worked on some of his most successful commissions, including The Night Watch, which now hangs in pride of place at the Rijksmuseum. At the time, Rembrandt also ran the Netherlands’ largest painting studio from this house – he often used his Jewish neighbours as models.
However, the house did not hold entirely happy memories. It was here that his daughter Cornelia, and later his wife Saskia died. In 1656, Rembrandt was declared bankrupt: he had failed to pay back the mortgage he took out on his house, instead spending what he did make on expensive art and an expensive alimony of 200 guilders a month to Geertje Dircx, his former mistress.
When he left the house, a detailed inventory was drawn up, which has resulted in curators being able to refurnish the property in a style very close to how it would have originally looked.
The Rembrandt House today
Today, the house is a museum celebrating Rembrandt’s life. Very little of the interior is original, but the inventory has allowed close copies to be purchased. There are over 250 of Rembrandt’s original prints are also exhibited together with paintings by pre-Rembrandt artists.
There are regular etching demonstrations and you can also visit Rembrandt’s studios, which looks remarkably lifelike. The museum is open 10am to 6pm daily, and doesn’t attract the same queues as some of Amsterdam’s other attractions. Audio tours and focused art history tours are available.
Getting to the Rembrandt House
The museum is in central Amsterdam, on Jodenbreestraat: Waterlooplein and Nieuwmarkt metro stops are both under a 5 minute walk away. Other major Amsterdam attractions are all within walking distance. It’s a 15 minute walk from Amsterdam’s central station.