Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn: The Wardens of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild, (‘The Syndics’), (1662)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A famous painting from Rembrandt this time. These persons are members of the drapers guild of Amsterdam. They were elected to be the syndics for a period of 1 year to assess the quality of cloth that weavers offered for sale to members of their guild. The names of these drapers are also known from left to right: Jacob van Loon, Volckert Jansz., Willem van Doeyenburg, Frans Hendricksz Bel (with calotte, he was a servant), Aernout van der Mye and Jochem de Neve. Also interesting is that the religion was also different for each - on the painting are 2 Catholics, a Mennonite, a Remonstrant and a Reformed. The painting is therefore also a good example of the religous tolerance in the Dutch Republic of the 17th century. From several sketches from this painting by Rembrandt and from an X-ray you can see that Rembrandt changed the composition of the persons several times in order to create a more dynamic composition. This painting was supposed to be hung high so the painting has a low viewpoint - the viewer looks from below upwards. The light, background and perspective was made to fit the location were the painting was supposed to be hung. The persons on the painting are presented to be working. We, the viewer, enter the room and they look up from their work. Willem van Doeyenburg already is rising from his chair in order to greet us. The drapers guild commissioned this painting for their guild hall, the staalhof (a building which was at the corner of the staalstraat and Groenburgwal).
Jan de Baen also made a portrait of Syndics: The Syndics of the cloth hall in Leiden


This painting is from 1662.

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