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Rembrandthuis Museum Jodenbreestraat 4 Amsterdam

Rembrandt van Rijn lived and worked in this prominent three-story house in central Amsterdam from 1639 until his bankruptcy in 1656. The house was purchased for 13,000 guilders (a substantial sum at the time) and Rembrandt's penchant for expensive objet d'art meant that the mortgage never got paid off. Upon his subsequent eviction, his belongings were inventoried and sold at auction. The list of possessions - which includes furniture, paintings, drawings, prints, statues and his prized collection of weapons - still survives and was used as the basis for the rooms' reconstruction when the house was reopened as a museum in 1911.

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Modern day visitors to Rembrandt's house begin in the same room as his guests did in the 17th century. The Guest Hall is a waiting room-cum-gallery, with artwork on the walls and chairs set out for patrons. From here, guests were then called through to the adjoining Anteroom, where deals for Rembrandt's works, as well as those of his pupils and other artists, would be discussed. One of the room's most striking features is its ornate maroon-and-white fireplace, a reconstruction of the 17th-century marble original.

Behind the Anteroom lies Rembrandt's modestly sized Etching Studio, where he created literally hundreds of his widely respected prints. Daily demonstrations show how the etchings were made and reproduced with his oak printing press.
The Salon doubled as Rembrandt's living room and bedroom. The walls are adorned with paintings by his teacher Pieter Lastman and works by contemporaries Jan Lievens and Hercules Segers - all expensive items which contributed to Rembrandt's financial collapse. Its layout is known to be accurate, as it was been recreated from Rembrandt's own drawing of Saskia in the box bed.

The biggest room in the house is the Main Studio - the centre for Rembrandt's creativity that's still used by the occasional guest artist today. Again reawakened via Rembrandt's own sketches, the room is stocked with a plentiful supply of paints and canvass, and helpfully bathed in light from the north by four grand windows. Paint making demonstrations take place here at weekends.
The Cabinet was Rembrandt's collectibles room. In it, seashells, corals and exotic weapons filled the shelves, along with busts of Roman emperors, Venetian glassware and his most prized possessions - 8,000 art books, which included prints by artists such as Michelangelo, Titian and Raphael. Each category of memorabilia is represented today on the shelves, but unfortunately it's only a shadow of what the man himself left behind.

The last stop is the Kitchen. This is where the family would eat their meals and the maid would cook and sleep in the box bed. A door leads to a courtyard, where it is believed Rembrandt painted The Night Watch.

After touring the house visitors can enjoy the Gallery Wing, which comes fitted with a cafe, shop and information centre. The gallery features 250 of the 290 prints Rembrandt is known to have produced in his lifetime, and is the only place in the world where his graphic art is on permanent display.

The Rembrandt House Museum
Jodenbreestraat 4
1011 NK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Telephone +31 (0)20 5200 400

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