Rembrandt’s Social Network in Rembrandthuis

Zelfs een groot kunstenaar als Rembrandt was geen eenzaam genie. Als een goede netwerker zette hij zijn sociale netwerk actief en doelbewust in. Hij had familie en vrienden die hem hielpen, zijn kunstwerken kochten, hem geld leenden en hem artistiek uitdaagden.  

In Rembrandt’s Social Network leer je Rembrandt beter kennen via zijn vrienden: van jeugdvriend Jan Lievens en kunstkenner Jan Six tot de familie van zijn vrouw Saskia Uylenburgh, zijn ‘bloedvrienden’. Met deze tentoonstelling geeft Museum Het Rembrandthuis de aftrap voor het landelijke themajaar Rembrandt en de Gouden Eeuw 2019, 350 jaar na zijn dood.  

Verstand van kunst  

Als vriend blijkt Rembrandt een eigenzinnig persoon. Hij investeerde niet veel in een goede relatie met de elite; hij omringde zich liever met mensen die verstand hadden van kunst. De vele kunstwerken die hij van familieleden en vrienden maakte, zijn een unicum in de zeventiende eeuw door de uitzonderlijk intieme en informele sfeer.

In het Rembrandthuis komt Rembrandts wereld tot leven. Hier kwamen zijn vrienden en relaties over de vloer, hier werkte hij samen met talloze leerlingen. Hier deelde hij lief en leed met zijn gezin. Zijn opdrachtgevers en kunstbroeders woonden eromheen. Het is daarom dé plek om het verhaal van Rembrandt en zijn netwerk te laten zien en een perfect startpunt voor het Rembrandtjaar 2019.

– Lidewij de Koekkoek, directeur Museum Het Rembrandthuis

 Jeugdvriend, bloedvriend of ware vriend?  

Tegenwoordig vraagt Facebook je om je online sociale netwerk te categoriseren: is deze connectie ‘familie’, een ‘goede vriend’ of misschien gewoon ‘een kennis’? Ook een zeventiende-eeuwer zou deze vraag makkelijk kunnen beantwoorden: ook toen had je verschillende categorieën vriendschappen. De tentoonstelling Rembrandt’s Social Network laat met behulp van sprekende portretten zien dat we in Rembrandts leven vijf typen vriendschappen kunnen onderscheiden.  

Zo waren er de jeugdvrienden als kunstenaar Jan Lievens, met wie Rembrandt een atelier deelde in Leiden. Zogenoemde bloedvrienden waren familieleden die een grote rol speelden in het sociale en economische leven van Rembrandt, wat met name de familie van zijn vrouw Saskia Uylenburgh was. De kenners, waaronder Jan Six, waren bevriende verzamelaars die kunstwerken van Rembrandt kochten en hem aan opdrachten hielpen. Onder zijn kunstvrienden bevonden zich ook enkele bevriende leerlingen, zoals Philips Koninck, Roelant Roghman en Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. De vertrouwelijke band met hen spreekt onder andere uit het feit dat Rembrandt uitstapjes met ze ondernam om samen te tekenen, waardoor hun schetsen vaak heel vergelijkbaar zijn. Tot slot had je ware vrienden: hen leer je kennen in tijden van nood. Voor Rembrandt kwamen de moeilijke tijden omstreeks 1652 toen hij 46 jaar oud was en door financiële problemen uiteindelijk zijn bezittingen moest verkopen. In deze periode is hij geholpen door een paar trouwe vrienden, waaronder de verzamelaar Abraham Francen voor wie hij een bijzondere portretprent maakte.  

Hoogtepunt: Rembrandts portret van Titus uit Baltimore

De tentoonstelling bevat schilderijen, tekeningen, prenten, beeldhouwwerken, boeken en documenten. Eye-catchers zijn een aantal bijzondere alba amicorum (‘vriendenboekjes’) en de vele portretetsen die Rembrandt maakte van diverse vrienden en relaties. Het hoogtepunt van deze tentoonstelling is Rembrandts indrukwekkende en persoonlijke portret van zijn 19-jarige zoon Titus. Dit bijzondere bruikleen uit het Baltimore Museum of Art is nooit eerder op een tentoonstelling in Europa getoond.  

Rembrandts zoon Titus stelde zijn leven geheel in dienst van zijn beroemde vader. Na Rembrandts faillissement in 1656 nam Titus samen met zijn vaders vriendin Hendrickje Stoffels de verkoop over van zijn vaders werken en begon een kunsthandel, gespecialiseerd in het werk van Rembrandt. Op deze manier werden de schuldeisers van zijn vader buiten de deur gehouden en werd Titus feitelijk de opdrachtgever van zijn vader. In Rembrandts schilderij zit Titus ontspannen in zijn stoel, zijn hand aan zijn kin. Daarmee is dit los geschilderde portret typerend voor Rembrandts omgang met zijn vrienden en familieleden: een informeel en origineel meesterwerk.

Afbeeldingen

1) Jan Lievens, Portret van Rembrandt, ca. 1629, olieverf op paneel, 57 x 44 cm., Rijksmuseum, particuliere bruikleen., 2) Rembrandt, Portret van de apotheker Abraham Francen, 1655-1659, ets, droge naald en burijn, 159 x 210 mm., Amsterdam Museum, 3) Rembrandt, Portret van Titus, ca. 1660, olieverf op doek, 81,5 x 78,5 cm, Baltimore, Museum of Art (The Mary Frick Jacobs Collection) 

https://www.rembrandthuis.nl/

Datum:
1 februari 2019 / 19 mei 2019
Type activiteit:

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