Museum Rembrandthuis investigates various myths about Rembrandt in the exhibition Framing Rembrandt
Who is Rembrandt?
Everyone has an idea of the type of man he was. But is that correct? Since the 17th century, Rembrandt has been characterized in various ways: as a man of the people, a rebellious artist, a hero, an unrecognized genius and a saint. His life story was adjusted each time; some facts were omitted, others distorted, always to propagate a certain type. Rembrandt is framed.
In this exhibition, the museum examines four centuries of image formation through paintings, prints, archive documents and other surprising objects. A number of persistent myths surrounding Rembrandt are gradually being debunked, such as the alleged failure of The Night Watch. The museum also examines its own framing of Rembrandt: how does the museum itself participate in the image of Rembrandt?
Rembrandt as a film hero
The pièce de résistance is the exhibition hall that has been converted into a cinema hall. Film fragments from the six fictional films (biopics) made about Rembrandt between 1920 and 2007 are shown here. From the first film from 1920, via a Nazi propaganda film from 1942 to the most recent fiction film from 2007. Each film has its own framing. So every generation got to know a different Rembrandt. It is striking that some myths about Rembrandt keep recurring.
Which Rembrandt myths are common among museum visitors? They are also asked to reflect on their own assumptions about Rembrandt. Do visitors maintain their original image of Rembrandt during and after the exhibition, or do they now think differently about the artist?
Framing Rembrandt, November 4, 2023 to February 5, 2024, Rembrandt House Museum, Jodenbreestraat 4