CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Two New Long-term Loans for the Rembrandt House

The Rembrandt House will add two long-term loans to their permanent collection presentation. The first is Farmers playing cards at an inn by Adriaen Brouwer. The second is The Baptism of the Eunuch by Rembrandt and his atelier. With these loans, the museum aims to shed light on Rembrandt’s activities as a collector and as a teacher.

Adriaen Brouwer (1605/1606-1638), Farmers playing cards at an inn, 1624-25
Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam. Long-term loan from Bijl-Van Urk B.V.

Rembrandt was a collector of Brouwer, in 1656 he owned a sketchbook and seven paintings of the artist, including a ‘stuckie van speelders’ (a piece with players). It remains unknown if that work regards to this particular painting. However it is known that in 1654 Rembrandt made an etching plate with a similar composition – with a man on a bench at the forefront and players at the background – possibly related to this scene. The painting by Brouwer is a long-term loan from art dealer Sander Bijl.

Rembrandt and his assistants, The Baptism of Eunuch, ca. 1630-36
Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam. Long-term loan from The Kremer Collection.

In old master paintings black people can often be seen in a submissive or satirical role. On The Baptism of the Eunuch, the opposite is true. In this depiction of the biblical story about an Ethiopian courtier who converts to Christianity, the black men are beautifully dressed and portrayed lifelike. One of them is proudly on a horse. During a recent examination of this painting, something else was discovered. Underneath the top, colorful layer of paint is a painted sketch in dark oil paint. This underlying representation corresponds in detail to a print made by artist Jan Gillisz van Vliet in 1631 after a design by Rembrandt. It has always been assumed that Rembrandt’s example was lost, but it has now turned out that this sketch was the example. To make Rembrandt’s sketch suitable for sale, it was then provided with color by two studio employees. An exciting story about Rembrandt’s studio practice around 1630. The Baptism of the Eunuch is a long-term loan by the art collector couple – and CODART patrons – George and Ilone Kremer.

Additionally, two young artists give Rembrandt’s old house a contemporary injection. Four paintings by Iriée Zamblé and Timothy Voges, have been added to the collection of the Rembrandt House and will be on display among the works of old masters at Rembrandt’s home. Both were artists in residence for the Rembrandt Open Studio Project in 2020. According to Epco Runia, head of collections and education, this combination of old and contemporary art offers the opportunity to compare past and present. The new presentation will be visible to the public after the museum’s reopening.

Source: Rembrandt House Press Release, 11 April 2021.