Amsterdam’s Rembrandt House Museum Has Long Left a Lasting Mark on Visitors. Now It’s Doing It Literally, With Tattoos

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An original work of art by Rembrandt van Rijn is not in the budget for all but the richest among us, but what about a tattoo featuring one of his masterpieces? That’s the latest offering from the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam, which will host a pop-up studio called “The Poor Man’s Rembrandt Project” from Dutch tattoo artists Henk Schiffmacher—also known as Hanky Panky—and Tycho Veldhoen and their team next month.

The museum, which reopened in March following renovations, is launching an artist residency program in October. But first up will be Schiffmacher and Veldhoen Tattooing studio, offering a variety of designs based on Rembrandt’s artworks, in the space where the Old Master lived and worked from 1639 to 1658.

“We see ourselves as the artists’ house. Rembrandt was not just living there and working there, but also teaching his pupils,” museum director Milou Halbesma told the . “We want to work in our new studio space with Dutch artists to connect with the public—and we consider Schiffmacher and Veldhoen artists. It’s about the challenge for every museum: to reach the next generation.”

“An old tattoo artist once called tattoos ‘The Poor Man’s Rembrandt’: a work of art that is more affordable than a painting by one of the Old Masters, but no less carefully executed and selected,” Schiffmacher said in a statement.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

A leading figure in the tattoo community for 45 years, Schiffmacher, who is 71, is known as the “Amsterdam tattoo king.” He organized Europe’s first major tattoo conventions, and is also no stranger to museums—he’s had exhibitions at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

“For us, it is an incredible honor to work in the place where Rembrandt’s soul can still be felt, and to work with his etchings and drawings,” Schiffmacher added.

But where Rembrandt applied his drypoint needle to copper plates to create his etchings, the Schiffmacher and Veldhoen team use the skin as their canvas. Getting some Dutch Golden Age ink will cost between €100 ($108) and €250 ($272), depending on the design.

Slots are filling up fast to book an appointment with Veldhoen, Rupa van Teylingen, or Timothy John Englisch. Participants can choose from a variety of Rembrandt-inspired designs, from a selection of his self-portraits to imagery drawn from his etchings, as well a copy of the artist’s signature and even a drawing of the Rembrandt House Museum itself.

See more of the tattoo designs below.

Now you can get a Rembrandt tattoo at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Henk Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Now you can get a Rembrandt tattoo at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Henk Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

 

Now you can get a Rembrandt tattoo at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Henk Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Now you can get a Rembrandt tattoo at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Henk Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Tattoo artists Rupa van Teylingen, Henk Schiffmacher, Tycho Veldhoen, and Timothy John Englisch at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Mark Bolk, courtesy of Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Now you can get a Rembrandt tattoo at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Henk Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

Now you can get a Rembrandt tattoo at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Henk Schiffmacher and Veldhoen/Museum Rembrandthuis.

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