Rembrandt house Building and Neighborhood
The Rembrandt house is the former house of the painter Rembrandt van Rijn. He lived and worked in this house during his time of prosperity. The street was then called Sint Antoniesbreestraat. The street later got renamed to Jodenbreestraat because of the high count of Jewish Amsterdammers that were living there.
The house was build around the time that Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden. Two brothers, Hans and Cornelis van der Voort. They were immigrants from Belgium. The neighborhood was in that time known as the Amsterdam art district. All the famous painters were located there as were the upper middleclass.
It was the third house of Rembrandt in Amsterdam and the house was next to his business partner and (new after marrying Saskia) Uncle Hendrick van Uylenburg. He paid 13,300 Guilders for the house and paid 6000 guilders directly.
When he moved in this house with his wife Saskia he created his own academy with many students and slowly tried to recreate a similar house like the Rubenshouse.
In this period money wasn’t an issue and he bought many pieces of art, artifacts and materials to provide his students and himself of new material for study purposes.
He created his biggest works in this house and had a certain point a thriving business. His house was known eventually in the whole Republic and many important guests visited his house.
After years of loaning to pay for other loans he eventually ran out of options. The economy of Amsterdam was suffering by the Anglo-Dutch war. In the year 14 July 1656 he went to the Supreme Court in Den Haag to distance himself voluntarily from his possessions.
On 1 February 1658 the house was sold for 11.218 guilders after two auctions that went wrong. The highest bidders couldn’t bring up the money needed for financing.
The inventory of the house got auctioned off in the old tavern de Keyserskroon. After that he rented a house in the Jordaan and stayed there until his death.
History after Rembrandt
The house remained a living house and was in a terrible condition when the city of Amsterdam bought the house after the Rembrandt year in 1906. Almost nobody knew that it used be the house of the famous painter.
The city donated the house to the Rembrandthouse foundation in the same year (1907) they purchased it. The first phase of restoration started and finished after four years when it was opened as a museum.
In the nineties the museum received an upgrade and the building next to it. In 1998 it was completed and could house better the many etchings from Rembrandt. Also the house was renovated and brought back to the state of Rembrandt’s time. They used the inventory list of the bankruptcy to recreate the house proper. The museum now takes you back in the time and makes it easy to imagine how life was in Rembrandt’s time.