Lianne Kolirin, CNN
The Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam is hosting a pop-up tattoo parlor, with tattoo artists inking replicas of Rembrandt’s work on paying visitors.
Renowned tattoo artist Henk Schiffmacher is one half of the team Schiffmacher & Veldhoen, who are recreating works by the 17th-century artist.
Talking about the project on the museum’s website, Schiffmacher said: “Worldwide, more tattoos are sold than works of art to hang on your wall. 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.”
He added: “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. Grand and small art coming together.”
The artist and the tattooists now replicating his work are “deeply rooted in the DNA of Amsterdam,” according to the museum’s website, which adds: “Where Rembrandt used a copper plate and sheet of paper to turn his composition into an etching, tattoo artists apply their drawing to human skin; the end result is a work of art that you carry with you for life.”
The team have set up a studio in Museum Rembrandthuis’ modern wing. During the 17th century, the building was a cultural hub where Rembrandt, his assistants and his pupils collaborated.
Several designs—which cost between €100 and €250 ($109-$218)—have been on offer, including original etchings by Rembrandt, Rembrandt’s signature and his monogram.
The initiative has proved “very popular,” a spokesman for the museum told CNN in an email, with 90 bookable time slots selling out soon after becoming available. Visitors have come from across Europe and even the US to get inked at the museum, he said.
For visitors who didn’t manage to book a slot, however, all is not lost, as the artists are accepting walk-ins between 4 and 6 p.m. every day until the pop-up ends on Sunday.
Several visitors have had a portrait of the artist tattooed on their skin, while his windmill painting has also proved popular.
Rembrandt lived in the house on the Jodenbreestraat for almost two decades from 1639. The property has been restored so visitors can experience how he lived and worked at the height of his career.
The museum is home to a large collection of his work, including paintings, drawings and etchings.
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