Conservation and Restoration

Recent Reconstructions in the Rembrandthuis

Technical Art History Colloquium

28Sept2017 15:00 - 18:00


For the occasion of Rembrandt’s 300th birthday in 1906, the city of Amsterdam bought the house on the Jodenbreestraat that the artist occupied until he went bankrupt. As the house had changed considerably over the years, architect De Bazel was invited to redesign the house-museum.

During the 1990s, the Rembrandthuis stepped away from its De Bazel interior and since then re-created Rembrandt’s studio, pupil’s studio, printing studio, living rooms, as well as the artist’s collection of rarities. Nowhere in the world one could visit such a detailed reconstruction of a 17th-century schilder-camer. The Rembrandthuis reconstructions have met quite some criticism, mainly from art professionals who claim that they mislead and fool the public. Still, the reconstruction is a serious scholarly endeavour and an impressive and persuasive contribution to the field of Technical Art History.

The first TAH-colloquium of the new academic year is dedicated to this historical reconstruction project, combining two lectures with a visit to the Rembrandthuis to see and discuss the recent series of reconstructions and hear about ongoing plans. The Technical Art History Colloquium is organised by Sven Dupré (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam, PI ERC ARTECHNE), Arjan de Koomen (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History), Abbie Vandivere (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History & Paintings Conservator, Mauritshuis, The Hague) and Erma Hermens (University of Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum). Monthly meetings take place on Thursdays.

The two lectures are:

- ‘Re-creating the Rembrandthuis and the Rubenshuis: Analogies and Antagonism between Antwerp and Amsterdam’, Arjan de Koomen (lecturer in Technical Art History at the Universiteit van Amsterdam)

- ‘The Reconstruction of a Wooden Seventeenth-Century Etching Press’, Herman den Otter (lecturer in Wood Conservation at the Universiteit van Amsterdam

Location: Oudemanhuispoort, room C.117, Amsterdam followed by a visit to the Rembrandthuis, Jodenbreestraat 4. Admission to the colloquium is free. All those interested are welcome.

Published by  Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture