About the work
This painting shows the Rotterdam train and metro station Blaak. Blaak station opened in 1993 in its current form, designed by architect H.C.H. Reijnders. Above ground, the station has a large transparent dish with a diameter of 35 meters. On level -1 are the tracks of the metro lines. The railway tunnel is one level lower. The different levels are connected by stairs, escalators and elevators.
The painting features two well-known figures on the intermediate level: Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit. Rembrandt van Rijn painted their wedding portraits in 1634. The Marten and Oopjen wedding portraits are the largest portraits painted by Rembrandt van Rijn.
Marten Soolmans was the son of a sugar merchant who had fled from Antwerp. Oopjen Coppit came from an old and wealthy regent family who had made their fortune trading grain and gunpowder.
In 2014, the Rothschild family, who owned the paintings, decided to sell them. The two paintings were purchased in 2015 for 160 million euros with support from both the Dutch and French states, with the intention that they would be exhibited alternately in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris. The portrait of Oopjen is owned by France and that of Marten by the Dutch state.
After restoration, the French and Dutch governments concluded an agreement in 2016. It was stipulated, among other things, that the couple would never be divorced, would never be loaned out to other museums, and would alternately be seen in the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum. The paintings came to the Rijksmuseum at the end of June 2016 and were hung in the Night Watch Room.
The title of the painting 'Continue together' therefore refers to this history of Rembrandt's portraits. Moreover, it seems that they have found each other on the intermediate level via separate (escalator) stairs from different directions and continue on one flight of stairs.