Over 520, 000 visitors attended the Late Rembrandt exhibition at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum between 12th February and 17th May 2015, making it the renowned museum's most successful exhibtion.
Perhaps not surprisingly its previous attendance records were set by earlier Rembrandt related exhibtions in 1956, 1969 and 1991.
“The Rijksmuseum is proud that so many people have come to see this unique exhibition, including such a large number of new visitors, ” said General Director Wim Pijbes.
Running alongside the Late Rembrandt exhibition, Amsterdam's Rembrandt House Museum had a separate exhibtion, Rembrandt's Late Pupils, which also saw record attendance of over 70, 000.
The Rijksmuseum's research showed that the majority (81%) of Late Rembrandt visitors were domestic (from The Netherlands), while more than half (54%) were visiting the museum for the first time. A highlight was the huge number of young people visiting, meaning the Rijksmuseum has been able to introduce a whole new generation to one of the country's – and the world's – greatest artists. 73% of respondents awarded the exhibition a score of 8 or more.
The Late Rembrandt exhibtion also saw 51 special evening openings and the museum was open until 11 p.m. during the exhibtion's last weekend.
Previous Rembrandt exhibtion records at the Rijksmuseum were:
- 1956 – 329, 917 visitors
- 1969 – 460, 489 visitors (previous record)
- 1991 – 445, 000 visitors.
To put the artists' enduring popularity in perspective, the second artist whose work has attracted crowds in big numbers was Jan Steen, an exhibtion of whose work in 1996 drew 355, 000 people.
The Rijksmuseum was able to put on the Late Rembrandt exhibtion – the most costly in its history – with the help of its sposnors and benefactors, which included Philips, KPN, ING and Blockbusterfonds. Owing to the huge number of visitors Late Rembrandt was a notable financial success.
Images: from top. 1 & 2. Studio Gemini 3. Rembrandt self portrait, Kenwood House, London. 4. Vincent Mentzel.