Rembrandt’s Holland: exploring Amsterdam and Leiden

It is 350 years since the artist’s death but visiting these two Dutch cities you can still feel the echoes of his work, and follow in his footsteps

Rembrandt stares out at me all around. To one side he is young, eyes shaded beneath tousled hair, to the other he’s wrinkled, gummy and turbaned, and in between variously smiling, frowning, astonished, or confident beneath a wide-brimmed hat at a rakish angle. It’s a perfect start to my journey in search of the greatest of Dutch masters 350 years after his death, in the home country he never left.

This crowd of Rembrandts occupies the first room of the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition of all its works by the artist as the centrepiece of The Year of Rembrandt. Twenty-two paintings – from his only still life to his lustrous full-length portraits, the famous Jewish Bride to vast, ground-breaking The Night Watch – are displayed alongside 60 drawings and 300 original prints, rarely seen due to their fragility.

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