The Last Judgment altarpiece by Lucas van Leyden has been put on display in the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum. It is very rare for the sixteenth-century masterpiece to leave Leiden. In its 489 years of existence, it only left the city twice. The painting will remain in Amsterdam for a period of two years while Museum De Lakenhal is closed for renovations.
Lucas van Leyden (1494-1533) was recognized as a prodigy throughout Europe at an early stage because of his sublime etchings and drawings. This draughtsman, printmaker and painter was an important source of inspiration for many generations of painters, Rembrandt van Rijn among them. Rembrandt was brought up in Leiden and it was there that he embarked on his career as a painter. The Last Judgement was on show in Leiden Town Hall continuously from the end of the sixteenth century until it was moved to Museum De Lakenhal in 1874. Rembrandt is certain to have seen it there. The painting’s presentation in the Rijksmuseum is a unique opportunity to show the triptych in the Gallery of Honour in the context of Rembrandt masterpieces.