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A Tales of Two Cities and Two Artists

OH and I had already agreed that one of the places we wanted to visit when we reached Antwerp was Rubens' House. Back in Amsterdam I suggested we have a look at Rembrandt's House so we could compare and contrast houses. A little word of warning I'm afraid my images jump from portrait to landscape and back again - sorry!

Each house, both Rembrandt's and Rubens', are reconstructions as time and war had savaged both of the original buildings. 

So first up I give you Rembrandt:
 One of the first rooms you entered was the kitchen. It was like stepping back in time seeing all the utensils out. It had such a homely fee to it. 
  And a part of me fell in love with the Dutch tiles which you could see throughout the house

This was one of the front rooms but also had a bed in it, near to the fire for warmth but kept in a cupboard. The beds were tiny! Turns out that it was custom for people to sleep half sitting as it was thought to help digestion rather than everyone was short due to malnutrition which is what we first thought (doh!). 
 The house was filled with copies of Rembrandt's work
 He had a room of curios which included heads, shells, swords, head dresses. You name he seemed to have it!
 My favourite room in the entire was the studio complete with paints, brushes, writing desk, easel and shelves of inspiration. 
 Although it was a recreation you certainly felt as if he could have just left the room!
 And finally there was a small exhibition which I think must rotate but we got to see his etchings.
So that was Rembrandt's House, next up (and above) is Rubens' house over in Antwerp. Apparently Rembrandt aspired to be Ruben and looking at his huge, ostentatious house he was clearly successful but the house left me a little cold. 
Here is the kitchen which was much grander than Rembrandt's but lacked that homely feel, it felt a bit more like upstairs downstairs and in the kitchen you were certainly downstairs!
Though again I fell in love with the tiles!
Just look at how grand this room is. It was like this all the way through, more stately home than family house

Curio-cabinets were apparently all the range during Rubens' time and many were made in Antwerp. Rubens had numerous cabinets all decorated with paintings. 
The whole house had many carvings like these both in the furniture and on the doors and walls 
As well as numerous sculptures dotted around the house both inside 
 
Overall I was glad we visited both houses but was very glad that we had visited Rembrandt's House which far outshone Rubens'. Although it was smaller it had such warmth throughout the building and it really felt as if he had just left. So my advice would be if you're in Amsterdam do stop off and see Rembrandt's House. The only saving grace with Rubens' House was that we got a discounted ticket which got us in to three other venues for only two euros more - bargain! 


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