Directed by: Rembrandt

The Dylan is located on the exact location that was once home to the first theatre of Amsterdam. Up until the late 18th century, plays were often attended by artists, in search of inspiration. Little did – the now esteemed Dutch Master – Rembrandt van Rijn know that it would be this very inspiration, that would help him grow to become one of the most reputable artists of the Golden Age.

In the year 1638, the very first theatre opened on the premises on which hotel The Dylan is now located: the Schouwburgh. The theatre was completely destroyed in a fatal fire in 1772, leaving only our present entrance gate to remain. That very gate was frequently passed through by many prominent visitors, including the respected Dutch Master, Rembrandt.

Self-portrait study of surprise,
etch by Rembrandt van Rijn.

Rembrandt van Rijn was born in the city of Leiden in 1606, as the son of a successful miller. His fortunate descent enabled him to enjoy great education, but he soon showed an early talent for art. He followed his
passion instead of studying, and after his first years of formal training in Leiden, he moved to Amsterdam
around the year 1630. At the time, Amsterdam was the most prosperous port of Northern Europe. This was the right place to develop his skills as an artist, to start building a collection of exotic goods brought to the city by merchants from all corners of the world, and to sell his art. It was also the place where Rembrandt developed his fascination for theatre, which turned out to be a major source inspiration for his works.

As a master storyteller, not with words but with strokes, he used the same techniques as used in theatres for his masterpieces, such as lighting, costumes, and accessoires. He would capture momentum and closely studied actors in the theatre, of which he made small sketches, highlighting facial expressions, symbolic gestures, extraordinary costumes, and movement specifically. Rembrandt must have had close ties to the theatre as he sketched many performers without a full costume. Perhaps he attended some repetitions? He also acted himself; in front of a mirror in his studio, Rembrandt observed his own facial expressions and made small self portraits while doing so.

Shining new light on the way Rembrandt was inspired by early Dutch theatre to ”direct” scenes in his masterpieces, the exhibition ‘Directed by: Rembrandt’ provides a fascinating peak into what he must have seen when visiting the theatre. Until 26 May, the exhibition is on display at Museum Rembrandt House, the house where he lived, created his work, trained his students, welcomed buyers and closed his deals.

To dive deeper into the fascinating history of the Schouwburgh theatre that was once located right here, a complimentary presentation in the City Archives can be visited before or after your visit to Rembrandt’s house. The presentation also includes some etches of the engraver Reinier Vinkeles – namesake of our
gastronomic restaurant.

A special walking route through Amsterdam connects both exhibitions, with 9 stops that give more context to Rembrandt’s life and his love for theatre which was such an inspiration to him. Your final stop will be The Dylan, to end with a special cocktail ‘Director’s Delight’ at OCCO, which
we hope will feed your inspiration, too.

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View from luxury boutique hotel, The Dylan Amsterdam. A view on the secluded garden.

As a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The Dylan offers the opportunity joining Leaders Club, a remarkably uncommon loyalty program. 

A view from one of the rooms in luxury boutique hotel The Dylan Amsterdam, member of the leading hotels of the world. View on the building and the secluded garden.
The leading hotels of the world. The Dylan Amsterdam is a member of this.

As a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World, The Dylan offers the opportunity joining Leaders Club, a remarkably uncommon loyalty program.

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Een dag bómvol inspiratie voor aanstaande.

16 april 2023

Wedding fair I DO. Bridal couple holding each other's hand.

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