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  • Self portrait as the apostle Paul, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1661

    Public domain via Rijksmuseun

  • Portrait of a Woman, Possibly Maria Trip, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1639

    Image in public domain via Rikjsmuseum

  • Portrait de Joseph Roulin by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

    Image in public domain via Wikimedia Commons

  • Oostzijdse Mill along the River Gein by Moonlight by Piet Mondriaan, circa 1903

    Image in the public domain via Rijksmuseum

  • Blossoming Almond Tree by Vincent van Gogh, 1890

    Image in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons

  • The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1662

    Image in the public domain via Rijksmuseum

Overview
Itinerary
Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director


  • Learn about the life and works of Rembrandt, one of Europe’s most celebrated painters, and explore the Netherlands’ later contributions to art history through the prism of his legacy

  • Visit Rembrandt’s house, which has recently reopened after an expansion and renovation, and view the artist’s works in the Rijksmuseum

  • From a base in the heart of Amsterdam at the luxurious Hotel Estheréa, discover a wealth of art in the famous collections of Amsterdam, The Hague and Leiden, including the recently restored Lakenhal Museum

“Rupert Dickens is an excellent lecturer, insightful and engaged, always ready to answer questions. We all learned so much and could not have had a better experience”

- ACE customer on a 2023 tour with Rupert Dickens

This tour follows in the footsteps of the painter considered one of the most important in Dutch art history, Rembrandt van Rijn. We will trace the life and legacy of the great artist, with a visit to Leiden, where he was born, before considering his impact on later geniuses of Dutch art, such as Van Gogh and Mondrian.

 

Our tour will be based in Amsterdam, where we will enjoy a visit to Rembrandt’s beautifully restored house and studio, reopening in 2023 following a renovation and expansion. The house offers the opportunity to explore the artist’s techniques as a painter and printmaker in a setting which the museum’s director, Milou Halbesma, describes as being where “he collected art and rarities from all over the world, educated his students, received his customers… [and] made his masterpieces”.

 

We will also take in the Oude Kerk, the 14th century church Rembrandt often visited and where his marriage was registered, and visit the world-famous Rijksmuseum, to view works by the artist and his contemporaries.

 

Further afield, we will visit another major repository of 17th century Dutch art: the grand Mauritshuis in The Hague, featuring masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer.

 

Leiden is also home to the recently restored Lakenhal Museum, which underwent a three-year renovation enabling the 17th century façade of the building (formerly the Cloth Hall) to be restored to its original appearance. Highlights from the collection include A Peddler Selling Spectacles, one of Rembrandt’s earliest known works, and The Last Judgment by Lucas van Leyden.

 

The unrivalled collections of the Netherlands provide a superlative opportunity to explore the careers and work of those whom Rembrandt influenced, such as Van Gogh and Mondrian. Spanning three hundred years, from the first half of the 17th century to the Second World War, on the face of it these three artists’ creations have little in common – ranging from classic portraiture and history painting of the Dutch ‘Golden Age’, via the tortured expressionism of the late 19th century, to the stripped-down abstraction of the modern era. Yet each of the later painters were acutely aware of the example of their illustrious predecessors and often made explicit references to them in their work and through their writings.

 

Whilst the 17th century saw what has been termed a ‘Golden Age’ for Dutch art, the 19th century witnessed the contribution of an artist considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of western art. A visit to the Van Gogh Museum, which houses the world’s best collection of the artist’s works, will be followed by an excursion to the Kröller-Müller Museum, the second largest collection of works by Van Gogh in the world. Set in beautiful grounds at the centre of a national park, it also features holdings by the three founders of the De Stijl movement in the early 20th century: Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck.

 

To further explore this important episode in Dutch art history, we will visit the Mondriaanhuis in Amersfoort, which contains exhibits relating to the artist’s life and oeuvre, and the Kunstmuseum in The Hague. The latter is home to a permanent display of De Stijl pieces, including the world’s largest collection of works by Mondrian.

 

Through these visits, and during walking tours, we will gain an understanding of each artist and the influences and commonalities between them, tracing this back to Rembrandt and his legacy.

 

This tour will be based at the delightful four-star boutique Hotel Estheréa, family-run for over 80 years and housed in a beautiful 17th century UNESCO-listed building on the Singel, Amsterdam’s oldest major canal. This enviable location, ideal for our visits in the city, is matched by luxurious and individually decorated rooms complete with sumptuous furnishings and charming, unique designs.

 

This tour will be led by Rupert Dickens, MA, an art historian specialising in Dutch and Flemish art. Rupert studied art history at Birkbeck, University of London, before gaining a Masters degree in Dutch Golden Age Studies at UCL. Previously a BBC television and radio journalist for more than 20 years, Rupert is now a guide lecturer at the Wallace Collection and an accredited Arts Society lecturer. He has been visiting and working in the Netherlands and Belgium since the 1980s.

Days
6
Cost
£2795
Tour Code
DUTM-24
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