The Rijksmuseum has a fine, relatively unknown collection of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century portraits. This will be the first exhibition to display early Northern Netherlandish portraiture in an international context.

About the project

Portraits make the absent present and remind us of those whom we wish to commemorate when they are no longer with us. Those have been the two main functions of portraits since classical times. This was perpetuated when portraiture entered on its first great flowering around 1500, both north and south of the Alps. Be it those dear to us, a celebrity or a donor venerating a saint, the sitter is speaking to the viewer with the words ‘Do not forget me’.

Aim of the project

The great international exchange of ideas led in this period to exciting experiments and a rapid spread of new portrait formulae. At the same time, each portrait had its own function, thus opening a window onto the life or ambitions of the sitter through the medium of a personal story. The international trends and each sitter’s personal interpretation of them, through their pose, attributes or clothing, for example, will be explored in the exhibition.

Related publications

  • S. van Dijk and M. Ubl, in collaboration with F. Lammertse, Remember me, exhibition catalogue. Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 2021, in preparation.

The publication is made possible in part by the Maria Adriana Aalders Fonds/Rijksmuseum Fonds

Related events

Exhibition Remember me, 2021


Matthias Ubl
Curator of Early Netherlandish and German Painting and Stained Glass

Sara van Dijk
Junior Curator of Textiles

Partners and Sponsors

The exhibition Remember Me is made possible in part by Ammodo, the Rijksmuseum International Circle and the Government of the Netherlands: the National Cultural Heritage Agency has provided an indemnity guarantee in the name of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.