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Annual Program 2019

The Rijksmuseum marks Rembrandt’s 350th anniversary in 2019 with ‘Year of Rembrandt’. An extraordinary year full with exhibitions and special events celebrating the work of one of the world’s greatest artists.


All the Rembrandts of the Rijksmuseum

15 February to 10 June 

The year-long celebration opens with All the Rembrandts, in which the Rijksmuseum will present for the first time an exhibition of all 22 paintings, 60 drawings and more than 300 of the finest examples of Rembrandt’s prints in its collection. As well as holding the world’s largest collection of Rembrandt paintings – including The Night Watch and The Jewish Bride – the Rijksmuseum collection offers the world’s most comprehensive and representative overview of Rembrandt’s work. Given the extreme rarity and delicate state of many of the drawings and prints, All the Rembrandts of the Rijksmuseum offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore Rembrandt the artist, the human, the storyteller, the innovator.

The exhibition All the Rembrandts of the Rijksmuseum has been made possible by the Blockbusterfund, ING and the Patrons of the Rijksmuseum.

Long Live Rembrandt

15 July to 15 September

The Rijksmuseum is inviting creative people to contribute to a grand summer exhibition in the museum. In this Year of Rembrandt, the inspiration for the exhibition is of course the great painter himself. No matter what your age, or whether you’re an amateur or professional artist, in 2019 you’ll be welcome to submit your artwork. The Rijksmuseum is looking forward to showing hundreds of artworks at the exhibition Long Live Rembrandt.

Live Rembrandt.

The Restoration of the Night Watch

July 2019

Members of the public are invited to watch the restoration of The Night Watch, Rembrandt’s most celebrated masterpiece, next year. The project will begin in July 2019 and the public will be able to watch the entire process at the museum and online. The Night Watch is recognised as one of the most important works of art in the world today and it is more than 40 years since The Night Watch underwent its last major restoration. The Night Watch will be encased in a state-of-the-art clear glass chamber designed by the French architect Jean Michel Wilmotte. This will ensure that the painting can remain on display for museum visitors. A digital platform will allow viewers from all over the world to follow the entire process online.

With the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the City of Amsterdam, Founder Philips and main sponsors ING, Bankgiro Lottery and KPN every year more than 2 million people visit the Rijksmuseum and the Night Watch.

The research and restoration conducted on the Night Watch is made possible in part by The Bennink Foundation, PACCAR Foundation, Thurkow Fund and private donors.


11 October 2019 to 19 January 2020

In autumn, the Rijksmuseum will showcase a comprehensive overview of paintings by the two great masters of the 17th century in the exhibition 
Rembrandt – Velázquez, investigating an important dialogue with Rembrandt’s contemporary and the conversations between northern and southern schools of painting. The Dutch and Spanish masterpieces will be exhibited in pairs alongside masterpieces by Murillo, Vermeer, Zurbarán, Hals and Ribera.

The exhibition Rembrandt-Velázquez has been made possible by Ammodo, Rijksmuseum International Circle and Holland America Line.

Also On Show in 2019Everyone’s a Photographer

15 February to 10 June

Towards the end of the 19th century, photography came within reach of ever greater numbers of people when small, easy to operate cameras came onto the market – the most famous of them all was the Kodak. This exhibition of 130 photographs, photograph albums and cameras will track the rise of amateur photography in the Netherlands.

The publication Everyone a Photographer. The Rise of Amateur Photography in the Netherlands, 1880-1910 has been made possible by Familie Van Heel Fonds/Rijksmuseum Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds/Wertheimer Fonds and Marque Joosten & Eduard Planting Fonds/Rijksmuseum Fonds.

Louise Bourgeois in the Rijksmuseum Gardens

24 May to 3 November 

For the first time in the Netherlands, in the summer of 2019 the Rijksmuseum will bring together a selection of monumental outdoor sculptures by Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), the French-American artist who became world-famous for her gigantic sculptures of spiders. Visitors wandering around the Rijksmuseum Gardens will explore all the themes that characterise the artist’s work. The sculptures on display will span half a century: from The Blind Leading the Blindfrom 1947-1949 to the spectacular Spider, made in 1996.

The exhibition Louise Bourgeois in the Rijksmuseum Gardens has been made possible by Pon and the Rijksclub.

Erwin Olaf

5 July to 15 September

To mark the 60th birthday of photographer Erwin Olaf, he and the Rijksmuseum’s director Taco Dibbits will present a selection of his iconic photographs. Olaf draws inspiration from the Old Masters, and this exhibition will see ten of his images hanging alongside ten paintings from the Rijksmuseum collection. Olaf’s work effortlessly bridges the gap between the 17th century and his own time; all artists have the same resources at their disposal: light and expressiveness.

The collection of Erwin Olaf has been acquired with the support of the Bankgiro Lottery.



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