The year of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age is inseparable from the maritime history of the Netherlands. The history of the Golden Age has left a firm mark on Dutch maritime history. The story of Rembrandt and the Golden Age can not be told without zooming in on our maritime past.

The overseas trade brought unprecedented prosperity to our country and in the 17th century, Amsterdam became the center of the Golden Age. The migration of different population groups increased rapidly and the artistic production was higher than ever. As a result, Dutch masters like Rembrandt fourished. On account of the theme year, we proudly present two new, large exhibitions in 2019.

Main Gallery: the new starting point for museum visits

The new Main Gallery, where the objects featured in Republic at Sea are on display, forms the starting point for museum visits. Paintings, model ships, globes, silver, glass, porcelain, and weapons show how strongly the maritime world and Dutch society have been connected over the centuries. Water has shaped the history of the Netherlands and has determined its role and status in the world. Visitors will experience how naval battles, trading companies, and art in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are strongly related to the close relationship between the Netherlands and water.

Outside, at the jetty of the Hoofdgalerij, it is possible to visit a replica of the VOC sailing ship Amsterdam. On board you can make a Virtual Reality trip that takes you back to the Amsterdam of the 17th century, and gives you a glimpse of the Royal Barge. Together, these showpieces are the 'must sees' of our museum. Within one hour, you become immersed in the world in which Rembrandt flourished.

Maps & Marvels

The new presentation Maps & Marvels brings together maps of Amsterdam-based cartographers from the wonderful cartography collection of The National Maritime Museum. This exhibition shows how our ancestors found their way around the world in the Dutch Golden Age and how their voyages shaped our vision on the world. Using the centuries-old maps, visitors travel to the locations that shaped Dutch history: South Africa, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. The spectacular map of Amsterdam by Pieter Bast dating from 1597 is your starting point.

The second part of this presentation is entitled Marvels: a treasure chamber full of beautiful and eye-catching objects that brought the whole world into Dutch homes in the Golden Age. Here, visitors will find wall maps, globes, atlases, and travel reports as well as souvenirs, trinkets, and works of art, all of which symbolize the journeys that make up the first part of the exhibition. Rembrandt also used to be an avid collector of these rare objects and the story goes that the purchase of his rich collection was one of the causes of his bankruptcy.

In 2019 it is 350 years since Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) passed away. Reason to honor the artist and bring extra attention to his work, his contemporaries and the 17th century. This comes together in the theme year Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, with numerous exhibitions and activities throughout The Netherlands.

2019 - Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age

In 2019 it will be 350 years since Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) died. Reason to honor the artist and give attention to his work, his contemporaries and the 17th century. It all comes together in the theme year Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, with numerous exhibitions and activities throughout the country. In 2019, NBTC Holland Marketing, The Fries Museum, Amsterdam City Archives (Stadsarchief Amsterdam), the Mauritshuis, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the De Lakenhal Museum, the Amsterdam Museum and the Jewish Cultural Quarter will all present one or more exhibitions on the theme of Rembrandt and/or the Dutch Golden Age. Cities including Middelburg, Leiden, Dordrecht, Delft, Den Haag, Haarlem, Hoorn, Enkhuizen and Amsterdam will also organise activities based on the theme of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age.

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