Happy 2019! What has this year to offer?

8 January 2019

- By Milan Weber

First, I wish you all the best for 2019! I hope you all had a wonderful end of the year. Unfortunately, a month like a long Monday is in front of us: January. Awful month in my opinion. It is a suitable month to sober up, start with your new year resolutions and face the great amount of work you have to do for the university. However, it could also be a great relief to finally have some spare time and think about what this new year has to offer. 


This year, we commemorate Rembrandt van Rijn who died 350 years ago. In the Netherlands, we consider him as an important person who contributed to the Dutch identity of being a painter. In international terms, many people have heard of him, but who was Rembrandt and what is his contribution to the world of arts? The start of the year 2019, in which Rembrandt is the central figure might be a great moment to learn more about him. Several museums in the Netherlands picked this theme and it might be worth to enjoy one of the special events that are coming up. 

Details in paintings are really interesting when you want to know something about the historical context. These details tell you what the painter meant with his work and it gives an idea about the time in which a painter lived. In contrast to many (early) medieval paintings, the paintings Rembrandt made were meant to be more realistic. The way he dealt with the dark/light contrast assured that a visitor almost had the experience of being in the portrait. Peoples expressions were his speciality and it assured that emotions and stories of paintings became alive. This year is an excellent year to expand your knowledge about Rembrandt. Next to his famous ‘Night Watch’, so many other paintings are worth looking at. The ‘Rijksmuseum’ in Amsterdam will have all Rembrandt paintings, from the 15th of February until the 10th of June. From July onwards, you will have the opportunity to see the restoration of the Night Watch. Many other events are coming up as well concerning Rembrandt. (https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/the-year-of-rembrandt) Can you imagine that Rembrandt died as a poor painter? Unbelievable, if you consider the current price of his paintings but it is all part of the great myth around this person.

In this depressing time of year, consider joining one of these cheerful events! In the Louvre I saw a few Rembrandt paintings and I am sure that he contributed to my appreciation of art. Until 2015, I was never really into art. Before, when looking at a painting I didn’t know where to look. This changed after I studied ‘the history of art’ as a course. This opened my mind! During a visit to the Louvre in Paris, I saw the greatness which art has to offer. I never expected ever to write an article in which I express my appreciation for arts, but here it is and 2019 is an excellent year in the Netherlands to have that same experience. Have a wonderful year!

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