in Amsterdam


Creativity and Competition


About the Exhibition

In a major exhibition, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Canada the Städel Museum will, for the first time, address Rembrandt’s rise to international fame during his formative years in Amsterdam. The presentation combines the Städel’s collection of works by Rembrandt, including The Blinding of Samson (1636), with outstanding loans from international collections, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, the National Gallery in London, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In this exhibition, Rembrandt’s art enters into a dialogue with masterpieces by older and younger artists of his time, such as Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy and Bartholomeus van der Helst, and with brilliant works by his own former students, such as Govaert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol. Focus will be placed on groups of closely related paintings that shed light on Rembrandt’s role and that of his contemporaries in this creative network. Rembrandt's pictorial production, and his impact, were surprisingly broad, encompassing landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes as well as history paintings and portraits. The examination of his competitors influenced his artistic development as well as his entrepreneurial ambitions. In Amsterdam, an exceptional number of talented artists competed for the attention and patronage of the wealthy and art-loving middle classes. It was precisely this exciting and stimulating atmosphere that challenged the young artist from Leiden to become the world-famous master that he is to this day: Rembrandt.

The exhibition is organised by the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Picture: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie – Christoph Schmidt

Curators Prof. Dr. Jochen Sander (Acting Director and Head of the Collection of Flemish, Dutch, and German Painting Pre-1800, Städel Museum) and Dr. Stephanie Dickey (guest curator at the National Gallery of Canada)
Supported by ING Deutschland, Dagmar-Westberg-Stiftung, Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Media partners Süddeutsche Zeitung, Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main
Cultural partner hr2 kultur

Early Bird Ticket



A great way to prepare for your visit : with the Digitorial®, you can immerse yourself in Rembrandt’s dramatic and innovative imagery and learn more about the Rembrandt era from the present-day perspective in interactive modules, audio tracks, and short informative texts. Also available in English and French.

To the Digitorial


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    Rembrandt, The Blinding of Samson, 1636

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    The Blinding of Samson, 1636
    Oil on canvas, 206 × 276 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Photo: Städel Museum – U. Edelmann

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    Rembrandt, Tronie of a Man with a Feathered Beret, c. 1635–40

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Tronie of a Man with a Feathered Beret, c. 1635–40
    oil on panel, 62.5 × 47 cm
    Mauritshuis, The Hague
    Photo: Mauritshuis, The Hague

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    Rembrandt, Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes, 1634

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes, 1634
    Oil on canvas, 143 × 154,7 cm
    Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

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    Rembrandt, The Abduction of Ganymede, 1635

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    The Abduction of Ganymede, 1635
    177 × 129 cm, Oil on canvas
    Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden

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    Rembrandt, Landscape with a Stone Bridge, c. 1638

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Landscape with a Stone Bridge, c. 1638
    oil on panel, 29.5 × 42.5 cm
    Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Purchased with the support of the Rembrandt Association and A. Bredius, Amsterdam
    Photo: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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    Ferdinand Bol, Self-portrait, c. 1647

    Ferdinand Bol (1616–1680)
    Self-portrait, c. 1647
    oil on canvas, 97.5 × 77.5 cm
    Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, The James Philip Gray Collection
    Photo: David Stansbury - The James Phillip Gray Collection



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