Public opening and Bonnefanten Free Friday Party: 10 March, 20.00-23.00
On show from 2 to 30 March 2023

Thanks to a unique collaboration between twelve museums, The Standard Bearer will travel to the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. This will enable as many people as possible to see Rembrandt’s masterpiece.
In the province of Limburg, The Standard Bearer will alight in the Bonnefanten and raise the question of what is represented by a standard bearer and his standard. The answers to this question are explored through three elements that typify our museum. To start with, the protagonist of Rembrandt’s painting is accompanied by a rebellious sixteenth-century colleague from the Bonnefanten’s own collection, who is ‘rather Turkish than Papist’. Then there is a contemporary installation of flags by the South-Korean artist Kimsooja, in which she questions the theme of national identity. The whole is completed by standards from the Oud-Limburgse Schuttersfederatie, which are still borne with pride by militia groups today.
Following the tour, Rembrandt’s The Standard Bearer will remain on display in the Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour.

Rembrandt’s The Standard Bearer

In the year he turned thirty, Rembrandt painted this monumental standard bearer. It is an ambitious masterpiece, in which he shows off his talents. The brushstrokes are loose and the contrast between light and dark is so strong that the warrior seems to be standing in a spotlight. The standard bearer looks boldly down on us from above. With his warlike walrus moustache and his dagger and sword, he is clearly not to be trifled with. But his most important attribute is the big white flag. Carrying the standard was one of the most honourable jobs in the army and the militia. In battles, the standard bearer was expected to defend the flag to his death. Rembrandt himself can be identified in the facial features. He is decked out in old-fashioned clothing that was no longer worn, thus making this standard bearer a historical figure. This is very deliberate: he is not just anybody – he is the symbol of all standard bearers.

Rembrandt’s The Standard Bearer (1636) was acquired at the end of January 2022 by the Dutch State, with the support of the Rembrandt Association, the VriendenLoterij and the Rijksmuseum Fund. The Standard Bearer on Tour is supported by the VriendenLoterij, the Rembrandt Association and the Rijksmuseum Fund.

10 March: Bonnefanten Free Friday

On Friday 10 March, the doors of Bonnefanten will open wide from 20.00 to 23.00. For free! Everyone is very welcome to visit the museum for a fantastic Free Art Night Out, where everything revolves around The Standard Bearer. The evening’s programme, including music, performances, workshops and more, has been created in collaboration with the Oud-Limburgse Schuttersfederatie.

29 March: free admission to Bonnefanten

Alongside their own activities, all twelve museums participating in The Standard Bearer on Tour will hold one free admission day. This will give everyone a chance to see Rembrandt’s masterpiece. Bonnefanten’s free admission day is on 29 March. And we give you the added bonus of visiting the rest of the museum for free as well.


Note for the press: For more information and visual material, please contact Esther Wagemans through or on +31 (0)6-28634294.