Rembrandt van Rijn, Landscape with a Stone Bridge, c. 1638, oil on panel.

Rembrandt van Rijn, 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 (SK-A-1935). Photo: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Virtual Symposium – Amsterdam and Rembrandt: New Research

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT
This is a virtual event. Zoom

This event is taking place at 11 am EDT.
Register in advance for this webinar.

The Rembrandt in Amsterdam exhibition traces the central decades of Rembrandt’s career, from his arrival in Amsterdam to the emergence of his late style in the mid-1650s, in the transformative context of the dynamic city that became his home.

Join scholars Celeste Brusati, Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Weixuan Li, Suzanne van de Meerendonk and guest curator Stephanie Dickey as they share new research about Rembrandt and the lively milieu that pushed him to reach his full potential – a confluence of creativity, innovation and resilience that continues to inspire today.

This virtual event, hosted by Dr. Stephanie Dickey, Professor and Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queens University, and guest curator for Rembrandt in Amsterdam, will feature four presentations:

1. Jacquelyn Coutré, Rembrandt and Lievens, "A Pair of Young and Noble Painters from Leiden," in the Amsterdam Town Hall
When the connoisseur Constantijn Huygens wrote his incisive analysis of the young Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Lievens as “a pair of young and noble painters from Leiden” around 1630, he could not have predicted that these ambitious youths would find themselves in the thriving city of Amsterdam twenty years later. This talk will review the pair’s collegial but competitive exchange during their Leiden years and measure it against their respective successes in their later careers in order to ascertain how they defined themselves on the competitive market for art in Amsterdam.

2. Celeste Brusati, Samuel van Hoogstraten on Competition: the Spurs of Ambition and Challenges of the Market  
As a student of Rembrandt, Samuel van Hoogstraten came of age as a painter in the lively, competitive art world of Amsterdam in the mid 1640s. He was also the only pupil to write a comprehensive treatise on painting. What the young artist made of this formative experience, and specifically how competition and contest figure in Van Hoogstraten’s writing and his own practice, are the focus of this presentation.

3. Suzanne van de Meerendonk, Art and spectacle in Rembrandt’s Amsterdam: the entry of Marie de’ Medici (1573–1642) in 1638
While usually ephemeral in nature, the decoration programs designed for royal entries in early modern Europe provided important opportunities for artists to showcase their talent for spectacular design. In many cities the most renowned painters were enlisted to help create such displays, however, it appears that this was not the case in seventeenth-century Amsterdam. Considering what is known about the event through its representation in various media and the archival record, this presentation examines how the 1638 reception of exiled Queen-Mother of France, Marie de’ Medici (1573–1642), mobilized the city’s cultural networks.

4. Weixuan Li, A Peek behind Closed Doors: Displaying and Dealing Art in Rembrandt’s Amsterdam
In Rembrandt’s time, it was typical for artists to collect and trade works of art besides their own, and they did so from the very place where they lived and worked – their home. With the exception of Rembrandt, we hardly know how artists and art dealers at the time displayed artworks in their homes and negotiated the interior space between the professional use and living quarters. This research will offer a peek behind closed doors of painters and art dealers’ homes through a spatial reading of the extant inventories. This talk will contextualize Rembrandt’s displaying strategies among those of his fellow Amsterdam painters, and it will further scrutinize the art dealer’s house where Rembrandt’s works were exhibited and sold. 

The virtual event will feature presentations by:

Dr. Jacquelyn N. Coutré

Photo: Tim Forbes

Eleanor Wood Prince Associate Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe​,
Art Institute of Chicago

Dr. Coutré has held several curatorial positions, most recently, Bader Curator and Researcher of European Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre of Queen’s University, where she organized the traveling exhibition Leiden circa 1630: Rembrandt Emerges in honour of the 2019 Rembrandt Year. She has published on Lievens, Rembrandt, and art in Amsterdam in the late 17th century.

Dr. Celeste Brusati

Professor emerita of art and the history of art, University of Michigan

Dr. Brusati’s scholarship centers on European art and art literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a focus on the pictorial arts in the Netherlands. In addition to her many publications, she most recently edited and wrote the introduction to Samuel van Hoogstraten, Introduction to the Academy of Painting; or, the Visible World, translated by Jaap Jacobs (2021) for the Getty Research Institute’s Texts and Documents series.

Dr. Suzanne van de Meerendonk

Bader Curator of European Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queens University

A specialist in Dutch seventeenth-century art and visual culture, Dr. van de Meerendonk’s research interests span different media, including the role of art and propaganda in state-making processes, the formation of cultural memory and identity, and the history of collecting and provenance. Her doctoral thesis examined the production of ephemeral decoration programs erected for Joyous Entries into Amsterdam between 1580 and 1660 and their representation in print.

Weixuan Li

Ph.D. candidate University of Amsterdam and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands

Li’s PhD dissertation focuses on comprehending the relationship between the urban fabric and artists’ location choices within the city and their use of interior space. Combining her training in digital methods at MIT and art history at the University of Amsterdam, she analyzes archival sources at scale to contextualize artists’ lives and visualize the development of the art market in Golden Age Amsterdam.

Stephanie Dickey

Professor and Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queens University. Guest Curator for Rembrandt in Amsterdam.

Stephanie Dickey earned her PhD from New York University and taught at Indiana University before joining the faculty at Queen's. She is the author or editor of numerous publications on Rembrandt and his contemporaries and co-authored the exhibition catalogue, Rembrandt in Amsterdam.


The Virtual Symposium will be in English with simultaneous interpretation in French available.

This event is taking place at 11 am EDT. Spaces are limited.



Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
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