Friday, July 30, 2021

Rembrandt’s past comes to life in new immersive museum

On June 19, a new Rembrandt museum will open in the heart of Amsterdam: Rembrandts Amsterdam. In the museum, visitors step into a reconstruction of Rembrandt’s studio in his final and lost home. Throughout the tour, visitors are immersed into 17th-century Amsterdam — Rembrandt’s Amsterdam — through video projections and special effects. At the end of the experience, visitors receive a complimentary map with a walking route through the city. The map shows locations that have a relationship with Rembrandt, such as the homes of his clients and the places he lived.

Rozengracht

After Rembrandt went bankrupt, he lost all his possessions, including his Rembrandthuis (“Rembrandt House”) on the Jodenbreestraat. He was forced to move to a smaller home in the Jordaan neighbourhood on the Rozengracht at no. 184. This is where Rembrandt made his iconic “last works.” These paintings had a different style from his earlier work and contradicted the refined, detailed painting style that was popular at the time. In Rembrandts Amsterdam, visitors step into a reconstruction of this lost studio. Here, they meet Rembrandt’s wife Hendrickje, son Titus and daughter Cornelia. Then, they embark on a journey through the highlights of Rembrandt’s life and his relationship with the city.

Image courtesy of Citysaurus.

The founders of Citysaurus, Martin Poiesz and Simeon van Tellingen, explain, “We hope that with our museum we can make a new group of visitors enthusiastic about the story of Rembrandt. The techniques we use are different from those you can find in a regular museum and more comparable to a theater. We tell a story with music and voice actors, light, image, scent and special effects. In this way, you experience art and culture in a completely different way. It was a challenge to design and build this attraction during the COVID-19 pandemic, but I think we managed to create a museum experience with high regard to safety, is timeless, and is captivating and enchanting for the visitors.”

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