One of Rembrandt van Rijn’s most intimate portraits, Portrait of Saskia Uylenburgh in rich costume, is coming to the Netherlands for the first time in more than 250 years. Rembrandt completed the portrait of his wife Saskia Uylenburgh shortly after her death in 1642. From 24 November, the work will be on display in the Fries Museum exhibition Rembrandt & Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age. The museum loaned the portrait from the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, part of the Museumlandschaft Hessen-Kassel in Germany. Rembrandt & Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age can be visited from 24 November 2018 to 17 March 2019 in the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden.
Frisian-born Saskia Uylenburgh was Rembrandt’s first wife. They exchanged vows in Sint Annaparochie in 1634 and had been married for eight years when Saskia died at the age of 29. Rembrandt completed Portrait of Saskia Uylenburgh in rich costume after her death and kept the painting among his possessions. In 1652, financial difficulties forced him to sell the portrait to his friend, the collector Jan Six. Around 1750 it was bought by the Elector of Hessen-Kassel. Since then, the painting has never been back in the Netherlands.
The Fries Museum is now bringing the work to Leeuwarden especially for the exhibition Rembrandt & Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age.
Exhibition Friesland’s most famous bridal couple forms the leitmotiv of the exhibition. Through the couple’s experiences visitors discover the ins and outs of a high society marriage during the seventeenth century. From the early stages of courtship, fairytale-like weddings and the founding of a family to the pitfalls of marriage such as child mortality and adultery. Marriage portraits, intimate sketches and personal objects tell the story of how love and suffering were shared in the Dutch Golden Age.
Collaboration The exhibition Rembrandt & Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age is made in collaboration with Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, part of the Museumlandschaft Hessen-Kassel, and is open to the public from 24 November 2018 to 17 March 2019 in the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, and from 12 April to 11 August 2019 under the title Kassel… verliebt in Saskia. Liebe und Ehe in Rembrandts Zeit in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister of the Museumlandschaft Hessen-Kassel.
Rembrandt and The Dutch Golden Age In 2019, the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn’s death will be honoured with numerous activities in The Hague, Leiden, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam. Experience the Netherlands at the time of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age with special exhibitions in Museum De Lakenhal, the Fries Museum, the Mauritshuis, the Rembrandt House Museum and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
THE PAINTING Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of Saskia Uylenburgh in rich costume, 1633-1642, oil on panel Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
The exhibition Rembrandt & Saskia: Love and Marriage in the Dutch Golden Age is part of Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018 and is made possible in part by the Municipality of Leeuwarden, the Stichting Het Nieuwe Stads Weeshuis, Leeuwarder Ondernemersfonds, Stichting Dorodarte and Stichting Siebolt Foundation.
The Fries Museum is co-funded by the Ir. Abe Bonnema Foundation, the Province of Friesland, the Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland, EZ/Kompas, the BankGiro Lottery and Aegon.