Saskia Ontbijt

9 March 2024

8:00 – 9:30

Sunrise Breakfast around Saskia's grave. Lecture by Rijksmuseum curator Jenny Reynaerts.

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In the summer of 1642, Rembrandt buried his wife and muse, Saskia Uylenburgh, in the Oude Kerk. Every year on March 9th, precisely at nine minutes past eight-thirty in the morning, a sunbeam illuminates her grave. We annually commemorate this special moment with a breakfast, music, and a lecture. This year, Rijksmuseum curator Jenny Reynaerts will speak about the role of women in art history. Reynaerts leads the research group Women of the Rijksmuseum. Titular organist Matteo Imbruno will play music by female composers on the small organ. A brand-new music trio formed by three young musicians, Shana Brown (violinist), Aina Font (saxophonist), and Adanya Dunn (mezzo-soprano), will perform improvisations (in collaboration with Red Light Arts & Culture).

Rembrandt and Saskia in the Oude Kerk

Rembrandt and Saskia lived just a stone's throw away from the Oude Kerk. Traces of their lives can still be found in the building. The Oude Kerk represented both joy and sorrow for the couple. It was the church where they registered for marriage in 1634, but also the place where Saskia was buried at the age of 29 in 1642.

Oude Kerk Saskia ontbijt 59 voor social

Research by Jenny Reynaerts on Women in (Art) History
Reynaerts is a senior curator of paintings at the Rijksmuseum, specializing in 18th and 19th-century painting. Since last year, she has been the chair of the Women of the Rijksmuseum working group. The group investigates the traces women have left in Dutch (art) history and how this is reflected in the Rijksmuseum collection. Read more about the research and the working group here. In 2020, she published the comprehensive overview 'Mirror of Reality: 19th-century Painting in the Netherlands,' the first all-encompassing monograph on 19th-century painting in the Netherlands since 1948.

About Matteo Imbruno

Matteo Imbruno (1964) is a celebrated concert organist who plays on the most prestigious organs worldwide. Since 1997, he has been associated with the Oude Kerk as the titular organist. Imbruno studied organ in Bologna (Liuwe Tamminga), Rotterdam (Bernard Winsemius), and Lübeck (Martin Haselböck). As a concert organist, he has performed at the most prestigious festivals and music centers in Europe, Japan, South America, and the United States. He has been a guest lecturer at the Buenos Aires Conservatory, University of Rosario, University of Mendoza (Argentina), Arizona State University, and Brown University (USA). Imbruno is the artistic director of the International Organ Competition Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in the Oude Kerk and the Fondazione Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo in Pistoia.