Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me whether my painting/drawing/print is by Rembrandt?

No, The Rembrandt Database does not make any pronouncements about attributions. For the services provided by the RKD in this area, see Products and services - Request evaluation of a work of art.

What is the goal of The Rembrandt Database?

The Rembrandt Database provides researchers with an overview of existing information and documentation on Rembrandt’s paintings, thus making these sources accessible for further study. The Rembrandt Database aims to become the first port of call for research on Rembrandt’s paintings.

For whom is The Rembrandt Database intended?

The Rembrandt Database is directed at a professional and scholarly target group of conservators, curators, scholars, art historians and students. The website is freely accessible and may be consulted by anyone.

What can I find on this website?

See What is presented and why.

What can I not find on this website?

See What is presented and why.

What are the selection criteria for the paintings presented on this website?

See What is presented and why. The Rembrandt Database is a constantly growing research source. It is hoped that paintings not yet incorporated in the database will be included in the future.

Does the database also contain paintings by Rembrandt’s pupils?

The Rembrandt Database contains paintings that are generally accepted to be by Rembrandt, as well as paintings currently or formerly attributed to Rembrandt. No paintings have been included that are now generally agreed to be the work of known pupils of Rembrandt. For more information, see What is presented and why.

Does The Rembrandt Database include drawings and prints?

As yet no drawings or prints are included. In the near future, however, prints and drawings will be included if they are related to a painting that is already in the database (e.g. preparatory studies or reproductive prints). For more information, see What is presented and why.

Is the documentation presented on a specific painting complete?

Partner institutions catalogue and select the documentation on this website. The Rembrandt Database encourages contributors to be as generous as possible in their selection, but there are various reasons for not including a given document. In general there is no point in including duplicates, copies, drafts, internal, administrative or low-quality documents. Moreover, there may be constraints on the publication of certain documents, such as copyright, confidentiality, embargoes, museum protocols, etc. In the case of certain documents, only their metadata (a basic description of a document and where it is kept) are included in the database, so that they can be accessed. The Rembrandt Database is constantly growing, so it is possible to add new documents continually, including those related to paintings that have already been on the website for some time.

Where can I see the original documents?

The database states the location of each document mentioned. Access to the original documents may be obtained by contacting the relevant institutions.

Are the images/texts under copyright?

Roughly speaking, there is copyright on all images and texts created in the twentieth and twenty-first century. Older documents are now in the public domain. The database contains a list of the various copyright holders. It is the aim of The Rembrandt Database to make documents reusable for scholarly and educative purposes by seeking permission from copyright holders. To this end, all participating institutions have already made agreements. Permission will be requested for documents not produced by these institutions. This process is now fully under way.

May I use any image or text that appears on this website?

It is not yet technologically possible to download images, which are very large files. A new functionality that will enable users to download images in a more convenient format, will be developed in the near future. It is already possible to download text files, which is permitted only for non-commercial purposes and only with reference to the copyright holder(s).

When will the image comparison tool be available?

The comparison tool is still in the development stage and not suitable for inclusion in this beta version. To compare images at this stage, you can open the website twice in different browser windows, minimalize them, and place them side by side on your screen.

Is the database searchable?

The search function is still in the development stage and not suitable for inclusion in this beta version. However, a sorting function has been built into the various overview pages, which makes it easier to get an overall picture of large numbers of documents.

Will there eventually be a mobile version of The Rembrandt Database?

We plan to explore the possibility of producing a mobile version of this website, but for the time being our priority is to develop this web version and its content.

May I, as a researcher, make additions to The Rembrandt Database?

If you have additional information or wish to comment on the documents or information on this website, you can click on the Feedback button at the top of every page. This opens a form in which to send a reaction, which provides us not only with your remarks but also with a reference to the page in question. If your comments involve a specific document, we will contact the institution that provided the information in the first place and consult with them about updating the database.

May we, as an institution, make additions to The Rembrandt Database?

Until the summer of 2014 we will be collaborating with twenty institutions with whom we have already made agreements. Unfortunately, it is impossible, for reasons of organization, to increase the number of partners at this point. In the future, however, we hope to expand the number of partners and are keen to hear whether you are interested. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Which institutions contribute to The Rembrandt Database?

See Contributors.

Who developed The Rembrandt Database?

The Rembrandt Database is a joint initiative of the RKD and the Mauritshuis. However, many more institutions and individuals have contributed in one way or another to its development and are still involved in it. See Contributors.

Who maintains The Rembrandt Database?

The RKD acts as the coordinator of The Rembrandt Database and maintains the website and the underlying infrastructure (database and file storage). To this end, The Rembrandt Database is embedded in the general digital infrastructure of the RKD, but nevertheless functions as an independent website.

How are The Rembrandt Database and the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP) related?

The Rembrandt Database is not, and does not seek to become, the successor to the RRP, which was established in 1968 for the purpose of investigating Rembrandt’s painted oeuvre. The RRP was not involved in the development of The Rembrandt Database. Naturally the body of information and documentation that has been collected by the RRP – whose archives are administered by the RKD – can be accessed through The Rembrandt Database. In the near future this website will also offer a digital version of volumes 1 to 5 of the Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, in which the findings of the RRP are laid out in detail.

How are The Rembrandt Database and the Rembrandt Documents Project (RemDoc) related?

The Rembrandt Database and RemDoc focus on different types of documentation and information. The Rembrandt Database makes accessible art historical information and (technical) documentation about Rembrandt paintings. RemDoc, an initiative of the Radboud University Nijmegen, in partnership with the Rembrandt House Museum and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, presents written documents that relate to Rembrandt from the period between 1475 to circa 1750. The documentation on both websites is complementary. The Rembrandt Database and RemDoc are currently exploring the possibilities for making the information in both resources available to scholars in an integrated way.

How does The Rembrandt Database handle attributions?

The Rembrandt Database does not give preference to the attributions of certain individuals or institutions. The database presents all attributions, past and present, which have been published with an acknowledgment of the source.

Do you have a question that does not appear here?

Please contact us , so we can answer you by e-mail and update this list.