2 Mar - 26 May

Director: Rembrandt, in Museum Rembrandthuis


Rembrandt was a master storyteller, not in words but in images. He directed his figures carefully and applied tricks that often came from the theater.

The Rembrandthuis Museum will present the exhibition ‘Director: Rembrandt’ from March 2. The exhibition shows that Rembrandt’s art and theater in the city of Amsterdam are closely linked. It is the first exhibition that puts Rembrandt in the spotlight as a director.

Rembrandt tells stories in images
In ‘Director: Rembrandt’ the visitor explores the way in which Rembrandt ‘directed’ his performances. Rembrandt knew how important it was to choose a compelling moment from a story to depict. Painters often chose a turning point in the story, which on stage is called ‘peripety’. That is the decisive moment when the (main) person – often due to a sudden event – comes to a drastic insight. Artists often depicted the emotional outburst after this turning point, resulting in paintings full of drama. But Rembrandt liked to choose a moment that precedes it, the moment when the tension is palpable. In this way he involves the viewer in the scene, who therefore sympathizes and empathizes.

The theatervisitor Rembrandt
The exhibition also pays attention to Rembrandt as a theater visitor. He visited the theater, drew actors and knew playwrights and theater directors. Moreover, he lived in the area where an important part of the theater repertoire came from. Sephardic Jews lived on the island of Vlooienburg, now Waterlooplein, who brought and translated Spanish theater to Amsterdam. These pieces were a resounding success.

A number of masterpieces will come to the museum for the exhibition, including the painting ‘Potiphar’s wife accuses Joseph’ (1655) from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, which will return for three months to the house where Rembrandt painted it.

Director: Rembrandt, March 2 to May 26, 2024, Rembrandt House Museum, Jodenbreestraat 4