All you art lovers should be familiar with the names of the Impressionist painters of Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley.  But are you familiar with the works of Berthe Morisot?  All you art lovers should be familiar with the Dutch master painters Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals.  But are you familiar with the works of Judith Leyster?

Berthe Morisot identified herself as an impressionist, that group of 19th-century French artists who rebelled against the Salon and the academic works exhibited there. Associated with Monet, Renoir, and Degas, Morisot was included in all but one of the impressionist exhibitions held between 1874 and 1886. Although associated with the renegade group, as a woman Morisot often escaped the unfavorable judgments the other artists received.  Most 19th and 20th-century critics focused on the "feminine" qualities in her work: intuitiveness and delicacy. Morisot is generally considered one of the most important woman painters of the late 19th century.

Morisot achieved significant recognition during her lifetime. Her work was included in George Petit's International Exhibition and in Paul Durand-Ruel's exhibition of impressionist painting in New York, both in 1887.  She was married to Eugène Manet, although previous to her marriage, she was romantically involved with Édouard Manet; the famous painter was her soul mate, but unfortunately married to someone else.

Her works can be found in the museums in Paris and around the world:

Jeune Femme en Toilette de Bal in the Musèe d'Orsay

Woman in a Garden in the Art Institute of Chicago

In the Garden at Maurecourt in the Toledo Art Museum

Judith Leyster was born in 1609 into the family of a brewer in Haarlem, a town just outside of Amsterdam. She is one of the very few women to be accepted as a member to the Haarlem Guild of Painters--the only woman master-painter of her day and one of the few women artists of the 17th-century to earn her living as a painter. Although she was highly esteemed by her contemporaries, she remained unknown for a long time and her works were either believed lost, or were attributed to the famous Haarlem Dutch painter Frans Hals. Judith was believed to be Hals’ pupil; she worked in his studio in Haarlem in about 1630; at that period she tried to follow his style.

Her work was clearly influenced by the content and style of genre paintings created by Frans Hals. Like them, Leyster had a talent for painting lively scenes of people enjoying themselves in taverns, playing music, and the like. Such subjects were very popular with Holland's newly prosperous middle class, the principal buyers of contemporary Dutch art.

Leyster produced most of her paintings between 1629 and 1635; her artistic output decreased dramatically after her marriage in 1636 to the painter Jan Miense Molenaer. The couple soon moved to Amsterdam and had at least five children. By 1649 the family was back in Haarlem, where Leyster spent the remainder of her life.

Although well known during her lifetime, Leyster and her work were largely forgotten after her death until 1893, when a painting acquired by the Louvre was found to have Leyster's distinctive monogram (her initials entwined with a five-pointed star) hidden under a false signature reading "Frans Hals." This discovery led to renewed research and appreciation of Leyster's oeuvre, which had previously been confused with that of Hals.

Her works can be found in several museums in Netherlands:

Monsieur Pekelharing at the Frans Hals Museum © Frans Hals Museum

Serenade at the Rijksmuseum © Rijksmuseum

Man Offering Money to a Young Woman in the Mauritshuis ©Mauritsuhuis



You are now entering the house in which the painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn lived and worked from 1639 to 1658.  Rembrandt bought this large and imposing house for 13,000 guilders, an immense sum for the time.  He was not concerned by such high expenditure.  He was a celebrated artist and his earnings were good.  This is where Rembrandt and his wife, Saskia, spent their happiest and Rembrandt's most successful years, a time when pupils and commissions came to him in a steady stream. 

He used the lower floor for living quarters.  Visitors came into Rembrandt’s house through this imposing entrance hall:
They could sit on one of the chairs ranged around the walls. The walls were covered with paintings by Rembrandt himself and by other masters. They were for sale.

Rembrandt carried on his art dealing business in the elegant Anteroom:

He received his clients with a glass of chilled wine from a marble wine cooler. The walls were covered with paintings from which the client could choose. Rembrandt sold his own works and works by his many pupils. He also dealt in paintings by other masters. This was common practice among artists at this time. Rembrandt had Flemish and Italian works in stock, but most of the paintings were by Dutch masters.

The Salon was Rembrandt’s living room and bedroom:

Paintings hung on the walls of this high-ceilinged room, among them biblical scenes by Rembrandt and works by artists who were close to his heart, including Pieter Lastman, Jan Lievens and Hercules Segers. Rembrandt slept in a box bed by the door.

This room, the largest in the house, was Rembrandt’s studio:

It was in this room that he painted his masterpieces between 1639 and 1658. The room faces north. Exactly the right, constant light enters through the windows. The position of Rembrandt’s easel is shown in one of his drawings. Assistants made Rembrandt’s paint and prepared his canvases. Artists’ paraphernalia lay scattered all over the studio:


Weapons and plaster casts on shelves around the walls were used by Rembrandt and his pupils as models. 

This room is where Rembrandt kept his collection of objets d'art and rarities:

Arranged on shelves around the walls were innumerable rare objects, many of which came from distant lands. Rembrandt collected seashells, corals, dried animals and exotic weapons. There were busts of Roman emperors, Venetian glassware and a terrestrial and a celestial globe. The room was a world of art and discovery in miniature. Rembrandt’s ‘art books’ were his most prized possession. He kept some 8000 drawings and prints by famous artists in these albums.

The kitchen was the most comfortable room in Rembrandt’s house:

The fire was kept burning most of the time. This is where the cooking was done and where the household ate. The maid slept in the box bed. 

After a succession of subsequent owners, the house was bought by the city of Amsterdam in 1906 and restored as how it was in Rembrandt's time.  Queen Wilhelmina officially opened the Museum het Rembrandthuis on June 10, 1911.  Members of the museum’s first board of governors decided to assemble a fine collection of Rembrandt’s etchings and drawings including landscapes, nude studies, religious and crowd scenes and sketches by Rembrandt:

However, the highlight of my visit to Rembrandthuis last May was seeing three actual Rembrandt paintings

Study of an Elderly Woman in a White Cap (1640) by Rembrandt
This painting was not acknowledged as an authentic work by Rembrandt until a few years ago when the overpainting covering large parts of the painting was removed during a major restoration.

Old Man with Turban (1627) by Rembrandt
Rembrandt painted this early in his career.  He experimented with rendering light falling on the human face.  The man's face and turban are partially lit.  The way the jewel on the turban catches the light is striking.

Portrait of Anthonie Coopal (1635) by Rembrandt

Anthonie Coopal was related to Rembrandt's wife, Saskia, by marriage.  This painting has long been accepted as having been painted by Rembrandt; however, in the 1980s, the Rembrandt Research Project deattributed the painting.  Now once again, many scholars have accepted this painting as a genuine Rembrandt.

  • Rembrandthuis is located at Jodenbreestraat 4.  Take either Tram #9 or #14 to the Waterlooplein stop.  From there, it's a 5-minute walk to the Rembrandthuis.
  • Rembrandthuis is open daily.
  • Rembrandthuis is closed on January 1.
  • The current entrance fee is €10.00.
  • However, entry is free with your Museumkaart or I Amsterdam pass.
  • A free audio guide is included with your entry.
  • Photography is allowed, but no flash because of all the paintings.
For more information:website: http://www.rembrandthuis.nl/.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

Photos were taken by me.