Rembrandt’s ‘The Standard Bearer’ Debuts at the Rijksmuseum with Free Entry

Following a nationwide tour, Rembrandt’s The Standard Bearer (1636) was unveiled at the Rijksmuseum on Thursday. Entrance fees to the museum will be waived to mark the event on Saturday.

The Standard Bearer is one of the first canvases the 17th-century Dutch artist made after moving to Amsterdam. Painted right after the Rembrandt turned 30 years old, it is considered the final major work by the artist to change hands from private owners to a public institution.

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The painting comes with a rich provenance, passing from the English monarch King George IV to one of the French Rothschilds. The self-portrait, the painting depicts Rembrandt as a standard bearer in historical clothing during the Eighty Years War, which established the Netherlands as an independent country in 1648. This piece laid the groundwork for Rembrandt’s commission to paint The Night Watch (1642), also at the Rijksmuseum.

Last year, the painting was acquired with aid from the government for €175 million ($191.3 million). A grant of €150 million ($163.9 million) came from the Dutch government, with additional contributions of €15 million ($16.4 million) from the Rembrandt Association and €10 million ($10.9 million) from the Rijksmuseum Fund.


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