Countless art lovers are captivated by the enigmatic artists Rembrandt van Rijn, Yayoi Kusama, and David Hockney. To cut through the mystery and gain an appreciation and understanding of these masters, one must visit the cities that nurtured their talents. Each city is a joy to visit in its own right; add in these stops and you’ll come away with a newfound artistic education covering some of the art world’s biggest names.
Lifelong devotees make pilgrimages to the following destinations to further develop their appreciation of their favorite artists:
Rembrandt, who was born in 1606 in Leiden, went on to spend most of his career in Amsterdam. After first achieving success as a portrait painter, he and his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, moved into a stately home in the city, which has been transformed into the Museum het Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House Museum). The house, which has been reconstructed to show how it would have looked in Rembrandt’s days, is attached to a modern building that displays a treasure trove of his works.
The most notable collection of Rembrandt’s work can be found at Amsterdam’s beloved Rijksmuseum, where crowds regularly gather to revel in the presence of De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch) and Het Joodse Bruidje (The Jewish Bride). De Nachtwacht, his most famous work, was actually painted on the first floor of what is now the Hotel NH Collection Amsterdam Doelen, one of the city’s oldest hotels.
Amsterdammers and visitors alike often flood the city’s Rembrandtplein—originally known as the Botermarkt (Butter Market) in 1668—to eat and drink the night away under the watchful eye of a cast-iron statue of Rembrandt.
The Oude Kerk (Old Church)—Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church, founded circa 1213—was the site of Rembrandt’s wedding to Saskia, who was later buried there.