Rembrandt Conservation Histories. Symposium

The symposium is organised on the occasion of the research and treatment of the portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt van Rijn, jointly acquired by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Musée du Louvre in Paris. It will be the first in a series of conferences on the history of conservation. In the future, similar conferences will be organised on the treatment history of paintings by Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen.


Important masterpieces in museum collections, such as the paintings by Rembrandt, often have the dubious honour to have undergone numerous conservation treatments in the past. Because of the significance of the paintings, these treatments are generally well documented. For instance, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (Mauritshuis, The Hague) has undergone twenty-three documented treatments, while those of The Night Watch (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) add up to twenty-five. Rembrandt’s paintings are distributed all over the world throughout major collections. Some works have been in the same city or collection from early on. The Night Watch never left the city of Amsterdam apart from its peregrinations during World War II. Other paintings, such as the Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) travelled widely and changed ownership several times, ending up in museum collections in the United States. Every country has its own traditions, developments and approaches to conservation, with important restorers who have played a key role in the treatment and appearance of Rembrandt paintings.


The aim of this conference (8 and 9 November 2018) is to heighten awareness of how the appearance and condition of paintings by Rembrandt can (partly) be explained by their treatment history.


Please find the programme here.

Key note lectures will be given by:

  • Gregor Weber (Head of Fine and Decorative Arts, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)
  • Joyce Hill Stoner (Professor of Material Culture, Program in Art Conservation, Winterthur/ University of Delaware)
  • Jørgen Wadum (Professor emeritus UvA, Director of the Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation CATS)

Praktische info

Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat 1 Amsterdam
Meer info

Organisation & more info:
Mail address: Rijksmuseum, Hobbemastraat 22, 1071 ZC, Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 674 7000

Register here

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