The Syndics



Amsterdam, Netherlands

It is as if we just distracted the wardens of the Amsterdam drapers' guild from their work, so realistically Rembrandt has portrayed them. The servant in the background is the only person without a hat. To avoid having all the heads on exactly the same level, one of the officials is standing, just about to seat himself. This clever solution, the loose brushstrokes and the subtle light make this one of the most lively group portraits of the 17th century. The syndics monitored the quality of dyed 'laken', a feltlike woollen fabric. Their portrait was intended over the fireplace of the conference room of the laken guild. Rembrandt has adjusted his perspective to take this into account: we are looking at the table as if from below. Painted for the Staalhof, the headquarters of the laken guild in the Staalstraat in Amsterdam. In 1771 it was transferred to the townhall.

On loan from the City of Amsterdam, 1808

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  • Title: The Syndics
  • Creator: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
  • Date Created: 1662
  • Style: Northern Netherlands School
  • Provenance: Staalhof, 1778, on loan from the City of Amsterdam, 1808
  • Physical Dimensions: w2790 x h1915 mm
  • Original Title: De Staalmeesters: het college van staalmeesters (waardijns) van het Amsterdamse lakenbereidersgilde
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: See more on the Rijksmuseum website
  • Medium: oil on canvas